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Former nurse to head up Mental Health Network

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The NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network has announced the appointment of Sean Duggan as its new chief executive.

The network represents providers from across the statutory, for-profit and voluntary sectors and over 90% of all NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England delivering mental health services.

Mr Duggan, who is currently chief executive of research body the Centre for Mental Health, is due to take up his new post in late November.

He trained as a mental health nurse in the 1970s and subsequently became a director of nursing at the former Worthing Priority Care NHS Trust.

Mr Duggan has also worked for the Department of Health, leading on mental health in the criminal justice system.

His appointment follows Stephen Dalton’s appointment as interim chief executive of the NHS Confederation after almost four years leading the Mental Health Network.

Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan

Bev Humphrey, chair of the network and chief executive of Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sean’s appointment is fantastic news for the Mental Health Network and our members.

“As a respected leader in the sector, he has already done so much to ensure that mental health is high on the agenda with senior politicians and policy makers in this country,” she said.

“We are immensely pleased to have someone of Sean’s calibre on board, as we move into the next phase for the Mental Health Network,” she added.

Mr Duggan said: “I am proud to have the opportunity to lead the network, at a time of great challenges and opportunities for the mental health sector.”

“It is an important organisation that does a fantastic job ensuring that the views of mental health leaders are represented at the highest levels,” he said.

Biog: Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan is chief executive at Centre for Mental Health, with a background in mental health and the criminal justice system. Sean joined the Centre as Director of the Criminal Justice Programme in 2006, and was joint chief executive from 2009 until 2011.

Sean worked for the Department of Health leading on mental health in the criminal justice system where he established mental health provision for all prisons in England and advised on the need for liaison and diversion for offenders. Sean trained as a registered mental health nurse in Sussex, where he also became director of nursing for an NHS Trust.

Sean was vice chair of the National Advisory Group to the Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board, which was set up following the Bradley report in 2009 until its conclusion in 2011. He is a professorial fellow at the Institute of Mental Health and is a trustee of Look Ahead Housing and Care. In 2013, Sean was awarded the president’s medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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