Education & Development Lead
School of Health Sciences
T: 01904 876800
After serving in the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) as an Aircraft Engineer and seeing active service in the Falklands in 1982, Nick transitioned into civilian life in 1986 and joined HM Prison Service. Whilst serving, he re-trained as a group facilitator becoming a seconded member of the RAPt (Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust) team, delivering the abstinence based, 6 month recovery programme for offenders. 2 years later he moved over into a generic substance misuse team supporting offenders to better manage their substance issues. Moving into offender management in 2009 as an offender supervisor, he supported offender’s address their offending behaviour by identifying areas of need to access rehabilitation services, and prepare them for resettlement after serving their custodial sentences.
During this time Nick created and developed the Veterans In Custody Support model to identify and support offenders who were former members of the Armed Forces. The VICS model was adopted as best practice by the MOD and MOJ. Shortly afterwards he was seconded to the NOMS HQ (National Offender Management Services) becoming the VICS national coordinator for 125 HM Prisons in England and Wales. In his role he supported and trained staff to develop their own veteran’s resettlement support services across the custodial estate. In 2010 Nick was honoured to be presented with the HRH Princess Royal Butler Trust Award for his veterans support work.
He joined YSJU in 2012 following a request from Health Education Yorkshire and Humber to YSJU, to deliver a Veterans Awareness CPD study day to Health and Social Care staff across the Y&H region. To date, he has delivered the CPD to over 550 staff in the Y&H region who have proactively responded to the MOD Armed Forces Covenant and NHS Constitution expectations around supporting the nearly 10 million strong ex Armed Forces community.
Nick is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Honorary Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University as part of their Veterans and Families Institute.
His aspiration is to try and make a positive difference, no matter how small, by sharing what he has learned with others who may come into contact with members of the ex-Armed Forces community in their professional roles.
Nick currently deliver the Veterans Awareness CPD study day at YSJU, but can usually be found travelling across the Yorkshire and Humber region delivering to health and social care teams in the community at their own sites.
Because of significant changes in the NHS Constitution that includes the Armed Forces Covenant and an expectation that health and social care staff have an understanding of military culture, the popularity and interest in the CPD has grown extensively, resulting in deliveries in the North West, Midlands, Merseyside and Cheshire regions.
Nick supports YSJU colleagues by contributing to OT studies when requested, by providing lectures for students around veterans, transition and engagement issues, and is a visiting lecturer at the Anglia Ruskin University Veterans and Families Institute.
- Health Education Yorkshire and Humber Veterans CPD study day
- Honorary Fellow Anglia Ruskin University Veterans and Families Institute
- Subject matter expert, Government Inquiry into veterans in the CJS
- COBSEO Veterans in the CJS cluster group
- SSAFA national Prison In Reach focus group
- NHS England Liaison and Diversion Pilot Wakefield
- NHS Armed Forces Network Yorkshire and Humber
- South West Yorkshire NHS Trust Veterans Pathway Group
- Local Authority Veterans support: York, Doncaster, North Yorkshire, Barnsley and Rotherham
- NHS Armed Forces Commissioning Team engagement
- MoD Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee engagement
- Forces in Mind Trust 2 day consultation St Georges House Windsor
- NHS Armed Forces Network Yorkshire and Humber Veterans Champion
- NHS Hull Veterans Steering group
- Joint Unions Parliamentary Group, Veterans in the CJS
- Contributions to Parliamentary Questions
- National Offender Management Service VICS Coordinator
Nick is interested to find out if military culture and ethos can affect engagement with community support services after life in the Armed Forces.
James, S. & Wood, N. (2010) A Guide to working with Veterans in Custody. London: NACRO. Available from http://www.nacro.org.uk/data/files/working-with-veterans-810.pdf
Gray, P. & Wood, N. (2014) Supporting military personnel into civilian life. Occupational Health Magazine. Personnel Today. Available from http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/supporting-military-personnel-into-civilian-life/