Professor Andy Lovell

Professor, Mental Health and Learning Disability

Andy received his PhD in 2004 from the department of sociology at the University of Liverpool, which explored, within a social constructionist framework, the role of self-injury over the life course of a group of individuals with learning disabilities.

He worked initially as a learning disability nurse during the 1980s, undertaking courses in working with the violent individual and community care, before transferring into education whilst it was still based in the old institutions.  

He successfully completed his first degree in 1994 and began work at Chester in the same year as a Senior Lecturer.  He has been a Reader in Learning Disabilities since 2007 continuing to run specialist learning disability courses, such as the multi-disciplinary forensic module, and more recently the research module that links a number of Masters Faculty educational programmes.


Certificate in Education, RNLD, BA Hons (1st Class) Sociology, PhD (Sociology)


Membership of professional bodies & external examiner roles:

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC Visitor)  2005-present

External Examiner for MSc in Mental Health in Learning Disabilities, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London 2008-present 




Andy's primary research interests lie in the areas of self-injury and the relationship between learning disability and criminal behaviour.  

Projects relating to this latter area include a collaborative study to describe the particular competencies required by nurses working in varying areas of security (community, low, medium & high), an action research study within a low secure learning disability service, and supervision of a Gladstone student investigating varying legal and professional constructions of the relationship between intellectual disability and the criminal justice system.


The project relating to the skills and competencies necessary to work in different levels of security is being conducted in conjunction with the Consultant Forensic Learning Disability Nurse within Cheshire & Wirral Partnership Trust.  The data collection stage is almost complete, an initial exploratory paper has been accepted (see below), and analysis will continue over the Summer.

A further partnership has been developed with C-I-C, an independent sector organisation, with the aim of a proposal being submitted to the Biglottery in May 2009.  This is an exciting collaboration investigating the feasibility of developing a service for offenders based on individual need rather than identifiable label, such as history of mental health, substance abuse or learning disability.

Published work

A.McIntosh, A.Bryan & T.Mason (eds) Key Concepts in Nursing, London: Sage

Lovell.A (2007) Sociological Concepts of Public Health In F.Wilson (ed) Key Concepts in Public Health, London: Sage

Mason.T, Lovell.A & Coyle.D (2008) Forensic psychiatric nursing: skills and competencies: I role dimensions.  Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 15, 118-30

Mason.T, Coyle.D & Lovell.A  (2008) Forensic psychiatric nursing: skills and competencies: II clinical competencies.  Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 15, 131-139

Lovell.A (2008) Learning Disability against Itself: The self-injury/self-harm conundrum.  British Journal of Learning Disabilities 36, 109-21

Skellern.J & Lovell.A (2008) Actual and reported incidents of violence in a learning disability nursing service.  Journal of Mental Health and Learning Disability Research and Practice: Special issue - Learning Disability 5 (2) 192-208


Selected conference papers

6th European Conference on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry October 2009, Stockholm (paper submitted)

8th International Conference on the Care & Treatment of Offenders with a Learning Disability April 16th/17th 2009, University of Central Lancashire, Preston (paper accepted) Organised by UCLAN

5th European Conference on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry, October 22nd/23rd 2008, Amsterdam (paper accepted and presented by Joanne Skellern, research partner)

6th European Congress of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability October 11th-13th 2007, Zagreb (presentation of paper) Organised by European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability/University of Zagreb