Benna Waites is Joint Head of Psychology, Counselling and Arts Therapies, for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board in South East Wales, and is passionate about facilitating compassionate care in the NHS.
She has worked in the NHS as a clinical psychologist for 24 years, and has a longstanding commitment to recovery based practice.
Areas of interest
- Compassion for staff and patients
- Leadership and healthcare
Benna is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Joint Head of Psychology, Counselling and Arts Therapies for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in South East Wales.
Benna has worked in the NHS as a clinical psychologist for 24 years. She has a longstanding commitment to recovery based practice and has contributed to service development within Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and a number of events run with the IMHCN (International Mental Health Collaborating Network) to support new ways of thinking about mental health services to ensure they attend more effectively to what really matters to people.
Benna is passionate about facilitating compassionate care in the NHS through ensuring that staff that provide care are appropriately nurtured, and believes that a failure to understand the relationship between staff experience and the care they are able to provide is a key factor when compassion fails. She has developed a leadership programme with an explicit focus on understanding compassion (both to self and others).
“I’m delighted to have been asked to co-chair this event with so many fantastic and illustrious contributors. Bringing together a diverse range of voices to think about how we can respond to distress with compassion and humanity gives us a great opportunity to build understanding and make changes.
It’s a privilege to be hosting this event in Wales where transforming mental health services is a priority for government, local health services and close to the hearts of many who work in and use services.
I look forward to the conversations and connections to come …”
Benna is the co-author of national guidelines produced by the British Psychological Society on responding to disclosures of non-recent sexual abuse. She is committed to well-being across the lifespan and to understanding our minds, and as Chair of Governors of a small rural primary school for some years, introduced a programme of mindfulness teaching for the school community.
Benna has written a book on breech birth to support informed choice, and has presented on this in the UK and the US. She has also interviewed authors at the Hay Literary festival.