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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences
(023) 8059 8286

Mrs Paula Libberton 

Head of Department

Mrs Paula Libberton's photo

Paula is Head of Department for Nursing, Midwifery and Heath in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Paula registered as a mental health nurse in 1996, and moved into higher education in 2002, after gaining experience in a wide variety of clinical mental health settings in the UK. Paula holds a Community Psychiatric Nursing qualification and is a registered Nurse Lecturer. Paula was appointed as Sub-campus Lead in 2006, Head of Practice Learning in 2012 and Mental Health Group Manager in 2016. In 2019 Paula was appointed Director of Programmes for the Department and from 2020 focussed on Nursing and Midwifery.

Paula is the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Official Correspondent for the University acting as the main point of contact for NMC approved programmes. Paula is responsible for reporting any concerns about the student learning environment to the NMC. Paula is accountable to the NMC for the quality assurance of Nursing and Midwifery programmes.

Paula’s main focus is leading the education of health professionals, although she has made some contribution to research. Paula worked as a Research Nurse, Practice Development Nurse and undertook some of her own research. Paula is committed to ensuring excellence in education delivery, whilst maintaining a focus on wellbeing and compassion for staff, students and users of health services.

Research interests

I am part of a group working on the development of a research project exploring safe staffing in mental health acute inpatient settings (led by Professor Jane Ball).

Research projects

I am involved in the following projects led by Professor Jackie Bridges:

  • The implementation and evaluation of a sustainable team-based workplace learning intervention. This project funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing extends the feasibility work undertaken in the NIHR-funded CLECC study.
  • Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC): a feasibility study. This NIHR funded mixed methods study aims to evaluate the feasibility of an intervention targeted at developing the relational capacity of hospital ward nursing teams.

Research group

Ageing & Dementia

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Official Correspondent

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Signatory

Member of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK (MHNAUK)

University of Southampton Staff Wellbeing Working Group

University of Southampton Student Mental Health Steering Group

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Book Chapter

Murray L, De Rosnay M, Pearson J, Bergeron C, Schofield E, Royal-Lawson M and Cooper P (2008) Intergenerational transmission of social anxiety: the role of social referencing processes in infancy. Child Development 79(4):1049-1064 (We thank ‘…..Paula Libberton…’)

Coelho H, Cooper P and Murray L (2006) Impact of psychiatric disturbance on identifying psychiatric disorder in relatives: study of mothers and daughters. British Journal of Psychiatry 188(3):288-289 (We thank ‘…..Paula Libberton…’)


Bridges, J. Libberton, P May, C.R. Fuller, A Griffiths, P & Frankland, J (2019) Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC): developing and evaluating the feasibility of a complex intervention.  Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, September 2019.

Bridges J, Gould L, Libberton P, Barker H, Mesa-Eguiagaray I and Griffiths P (2016) Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC): an acute care feasibility study. European Nursing Congress. Rotterdam, The Netherlands, October 2016.

Libberton P and Bridges J (2016) Older adults in general hospitals want their mental health needs addressed as part of nursing care: why is this so challenging? International Network for Psychiatric Nursing (NPNR) Research Conference. Nottingham, September 2016.

Libberton P, Griffiths P, Gould L, Barker H, Mesa-Eguiagaray I and Bridges J (2016) Relational capacity of nursing teams: exploring the relationship between team context, relational capacity and caring practices. Royal College of Nursing International Research conference. Edinburgh, April 2016.

Bridges J, Libberton P, Barker H, Gould L, Wigley W and Griffiths P (2016) Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC): developing and evaluating the feasibility of a complex intervention. Royal College of Nursing International Research conference. Edinburgh, April 2016.

Libberton P (2015) Managing complexity in the least complex way: A multi-layered approach to the quality assurance of placements. NET International Conference. Cambridge, September 2015. Available from Jill Rogers Associates website [Accessed 01 October 2015]

Libberton P (2012) Prática Clínica. Paper presented at the Clinical Practice in Nursing Undergraduate Programmes: Achievements and Perspectives Conference 09 November. Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Libberton P (2009) Communicating with people with mental health issues. In: Marjoram BA, Coles LM and Childs LL (eds) Essential skills clusters for nursing: theory for practice. Blackwell, Oxford.

Brown J and Libberton P (eds) (2007) Principles of professional studies in nursing. Palgrave, Basingstoke.

Personal Academic Tutor: Mental Health Nursing and Dual Field Mental Health and Adult Nursing

Teaching on pre-registration nursing programmes:

  • BN (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health and Mental Health/Adult) (3 Years and 4 Years)
  • PgDip Nursing (Mental Health) (2 Years) (Graduate Entry)
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) (3 Years)
  • MNurs Nursing (Mental Health/Adult and Mental Health/Child) (4 Years)
  • MSc/PgDip Nursing (Mental Health) (Graduate Entry)
Mrs Paula Libberton
Health Sciences
University of Southampton
Building 67
SO17 1BJ

Tel: 023 80598286

Room Number : 67/3039

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