What will it take for prisons to build back better to ensure the safety and well-being of all men and women in custody?

We are pleased to announce that this year's Pact conference will be taking place on Tuesday 16th November from 3.15pm – 5.00pm on Zoom. Registration is free and the event will be recorded.

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Keynote Speakers

Professor Joe Rafferty CBE, Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Joe Rafferty was appointed Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in September 2012. During his tenure, he has led a significant expansion of the organisation, almost trebling it in size. This has been accompanied by significant modernisation of the estate and digital infrastructure. The trust is now one of the largest specialised integrated care providers in the NHS and includes inpatient and community mental health, community physical health, and learning disability and addictions services.

Whilst at Mersey Care, he has led the organisation embedding the concept of ‘Pursuing Perfect Care’ using a series of audacious zero-based goals, such as zero suicides in care, zero restrictive practice, zero pressure ulcers and zero medication errors. Most notably, the Trust has become internationally recognised for its work on ‘Restorative Just Practice’ to support learning in its pursuit of perfect care.

Awarded a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Queen’s University Belfast in 1987, he spent the next twelve years researching drug resistance in cancer and published over fifty peer reviewed articles on this and related areas, before a career change.

Before joining Mersey Care, he held several Senior NHS Leadership roles including Regional Director (NHSNW) of Strategy and Commissioning and Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust where he developed an interest in safety and quality improvement, including establishing the influential Advancing Quality programme.

For the past five years, he has been named as one of the top 50 NHS Chief Executives by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) and has appeared in the HSJ100 most influential people in healthcare in the UK. He is a founder member of the Zero Suicide Alliance UK and was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 for his work on suicide prevention.

He  was  made  an  Honorary  Professor  at  the  University  of  Liverpool  Institute  for Population Health Sciences in March 2021.

Sarah Hughes, CEO, Centre for Mental Health.

Sarah has worked in mental health and criminal justice for 30 years. Having initially trained as a social worker, Sarah has managed a range of innovative community and secure services. She also led the research and evaluation of the pioneering Pact First Night in Custody project in Holloway Prison which saw the roll out of these principles across the prison estate supported by the Cabinet Office.

In recent years, Sarah has led CPSL Mind, an organisation known internationally for values led practice and high impact campaigns including Stop Suicide and Stress Less. After completing her master's degree in understanding organisations, Sarah is undertaking a professional doctorate on    women, resilience and leadership.

Sarah writes a blog and has written many guest pieces for various platforms. She also hosts a regular vlog about mental health and wellbeing. Sarah undertakes a number of speaking commitments around the world and is part of the global mental health network.

As Chief Executive at the Centre, she works with the UK government and high-profile organisations on mental health policy and practice. Sarah holds a number of trustee and board roles for organisations such as Agenda Alliance, Association of Mental Health Providers, the Football Association and City Mental Health Alliance. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Salzburg Global, Zinc Academy and the Mental Health Collective. In 2019 Sarah also joined the prestigious Sciana Health Leaders Network.

Mignon French, Programme Manager for Mental Health Treatment Requirements, NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Mignon is a jointly qualified general and psychiatric nurse who has worked across the mental health sector for over 30 years. Her professional interest in criminal justice, mental health and associated vulnerabilities has further developed over the past 15 years. In 2014 she was central to developing the first Mental Health Treatment Requirement (MHTR) pilot in Milton Keynes, which provided some of the thinking and learning for scaling up all of the Community Sentence Treatment Requirements (CSTRs). Mignon was appointed as the CSTR Programme Manager in the summer of 2017, where she was responsible for scaling up the blueprint from Milton Keynes. 

Today, we have 23% coverage of our new primary care MHTR services across England, led by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Mignon’s focus is to scale up this element of CSTRs, along with those who require combined CSTRs for both drug and alcohol treatment requirements.

Along with partners, Mignon takes a lead role in the development, implementation and strategic direction of the new MHTR programme, working with partners across Ministry of Justice, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.

Mignon is also a magistrate chair in Northamptonshire and takes an active lead in highlighting vulnerability issues by providing specialist knowledge about mental health and associated vulnerabilities.

Please bookmark this page and keep checking back for more information.

Image: a constant watch cell where, if there has been a suicide incident, a prison officer sits outside 24 hours a day to ensure that a prisoner does not harm themselves. Copyright (c) Andy Aitchison/Prison Image.