Martin has worked in mental health services at local and national level for over 40 years. His main interests lie in the field of national mental health policy, and its implementation through local services. He is also interested in leadership in mental health services; and mental health policy and practice in developing countries. Martin has expertise and interest in the organisation and delivery of forensic mental health services. He is currently a volunteer educator for Parkinson’s UK.
Martin is currently an occasional technical consultant for World Health Organisation, providing short and long term support to national governments in Eastern Europe. He has completed missions to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Turkey. He has given technical support to Council of Europe mental health projects, and the Office for Co-operation and Security in South East Europe.
Martin has worked at national level in England, being head of mental health policy at the Department of Health from 1995-2003. During that time he was responsible for a new mental health strategy for England (Safe, Sound and Supportive,1999); the National Service Framework for Mental Health, 2000; a green paper on Health and Social Care co-operation in mental health; and commissioned a review of the 1983 Mental health Act.
From 2008-2011, Martin was Executive Director at Ashworth High Secure Hospital, Liverpool. He was Chief Executive of the Northern Centre for Mental Health from 2003-2006.
Martin's previous career posts have included Director of Nursing (Tooting Bec Hospital); Nurse teacher (Maudsley Hospital, London); research assistant (Institute of Psychiatry, London) and professional adviser, Royal College of Nursing. He has also worked in clinical services as a behavior therapist, and held clinical posts within the NHS in England in hospitals and community services.
Martin was a member of the Mental Health Act Commission, and also a member of the statutory inquiry into Ashworth Hospital chaired by Louis Blom-Cooper. He was Florence Nightingale Scholar, investigating nurse education programmes in the US.