Dr. Brodie Paterson : Conference Chairperson

Dr. Brodie Paterson

Conference Chairperson

Dr. Paterson is an experienced clinician, manager, and researcher with degrees in psychology, education and social policy and has published more than a hundred papers, book chapters and research reports. He has held posts in the NHS, academia, and the private sector. His present research interests include the development and evaluation of trauma informed professional curricula, the significance of compassion fatigue in human services and how we can ensure an understanding of the significance of trauma underpins policy and practice at a national level. He presently Chairs the European Network for Trainers in the Management of Aggression, is a trustee of UK Restraint Reduction network and a member of Scottish Restrictive Reduction Network. He is an Honorary fellow Ad Eundem of the Faculty of Nursing of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Scientists.

Donal Mc Cormack : Conference Secretary

Donal Mc Cormack

Conference Secretary

Donal Mc Cormack is the Conference secretary and is on the organising committee. He is the former national director of children’s residential services in Tusla Child & Family Agency with over 30 years of residential childcare experience as a practitioner and manager. He has worked in community child care, in patient child psychiatry, youth detention, Mainstream residential and managed the very first special care centre for children detained on welfare grounds (1995-2000). Over 15 of his 30+ years were at senior operational management level in public childcare service delivery. He was responsible for the operational management of Tusla’s children’s residential services. The breadth of his former role includes managing a budget of €164m and a team of over 1,000 caring for approximately 600 young people across the statutory, voluntary and private sectors.

One of his many achievements was the setting up of the Way2Work apprentice and job seeker programme (in 2018) which collaborates with private industry in securing job and apprenticeship opportunities for young people in care and after care. He lectures part time on the Masters programme in professional management of complex behaviour (PMCB) in Dundalk Institute of Technology. Donal has been in a training role over 20 years teaching C.P.I., T.C.I, PMAV and more recently PMCB, to a range of health and social care professionals.

Laura Steckley :

Laura Steckley

Laura Steckley teaches and carries out research in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde. Prior to this, she worked in residential child care and residential treatment for adolescents. Her research and knowledge exchange work are primarily focused on children in care and related workforce development. She has carried out a large-scale, in-depth qualitative study on the experiences of staff and young people in residential child care related to physical restraint, and currently co-leads up the Scottish Physical Restraint Action Group (SPRAG). She is also involved in a co-produced Refection and Action Learning Forum (RALF), co-designed by a subgroup of SPRAG, to support the ongoing development of care workers’ and managers’ reflective capacity related to physical restraint and restrictive practice.

Mark Richards :

Mark Richards

Mark joined the NHS in 1988 and qualified as registered mental health nurse in 1991. He graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BSc in forensic mental health in 2001, and has completed postgraduate studies in primary care at the University of Glasgow. He has also trained as a business coach.

His early clinical career was spent in forensic mental heath services in Perth and Glasgow, and he has held professional leadership and managerial roles in mental health, addictions, learning disability and prisoner healthcare services.

Between 2016 and 2022, he was the Director of Nursing and Operations/Deputy CEO at the State Hospital’s Board for Scotland, with responsibility for nursing, allied health professional, psychology, infection prevention and control and administrative services. During this time, he also served as the vice chair of Scotland’s Executive Nurse Directors Group and worked as an advisor to Scotland’s Public Services Ombudsman.

He is currently the Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Scottish Government, working between the Chief Nursing Officer’s and Mental Health Directorates, with his work focused on areas such as mental health nursing strategy, workforce planning and development, and the quality and safety of mental health services.

Charlie McMillan :

Charlie McMillan

Charlie is the first Chair of Restraint Reduction Scotland (RRS) Restraint Reduction Scotland - SCLD and Chief Executive of the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD). SCLD is a Human Rights Defender and the delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s national strategy for people with learning disabilities - The keys to life and Towards Transformation.

Charlie trained as social worker many years ago and was previously seconded to the Scottish Government Health Department where he advised Ministers and NHS Scotland on participation, equality, diversity and human rights. He has held several senior positions across the voluntary sector in Scotland and has a range of experience and interests including human rights, engagement and involvement, equality and diversity, policy and strategy development, leadership, safeguarding, quality assurance.

Charlie is a long-term LGBT+ rights activist, and Co-Chair of the Scottish Government’s Learning Disability Gender Based Violence Steering Group. Charlie has a committed mindfulness practice as part of the Mindfullybeing/KAMAL community.