Having been born in Scotland, Paul undertook a BSc in Nursing at what is now the University of Abertay, Dundee and qualified as a Learning Disability and Adult nurse in 1982. He initially worked in theatres at Ninewells Hospital before moving to Cambridge and then to Harrogate, helping people with learning disabilities move out of long stay hospitals. In 1997 Paul did a MA in Disability Studies at the University of Sheffield. He has been at the University of York since the late 1990s leading on the learning disability programme, developing a model of practice experience called Individual Led Practice, for nursing students working with people with a learning disability. In 2010 the NMC gave this model and the involvement of service users in the programme an outstanding in their annual monitoring event. In 2012 one of our students was awarded the Nursing Times Student of the Year: Learning Disabilities. In 2013 a student was awarded outstanding contribution to practice and another became the student editor of the Nursing Times.
Paul worked for the NMC for four years as a visitor, overseeing the approval and monitoring of programmes leading to registration in the area of learning disability nursing and has held various posts as external examiner for other HEIs. He also has links with Bergen University in Norway who have programmes relating to social educators for people with learning disabilities that are alined with the role of the RNLD in the UK. He currently leads the Child and Learning Disability scholarship group. Paul is Deputy Chair of the Nursing programmes committee and leads the Cooperative Learning Group modules on the BSc Nursing programme.
Paul also facilitates a module on the Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice (PGCAP) which enables teaching staff to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as nurse teachers.
Areas that Paul is interested in include: autism, augmented communication, supporting families, service user involvement, social inclusion, empowerment, and individual led practice.
As part of his research in his MA, Paul undertook an investigation using Fairclough's Critical Discourse Analysis in to the way nurses view people with learning disabilities and specialist service provision.