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New clinical research leads appointed

02 Jul 2015

Four new research leads have been appointed to champion and increase research across WLMHT.

Their aim is to increase interest in research and development (R&D) and improve understanding of it among patient-facing staff, as well as supporting them to apply findings in their practice to improve patient care. The new leads will also help staff to recruit more patients to take part in clinical trials.

The post-holders will work within in the trust’s new clinical service lines – groups of services that are led by experienced clinicians.

Dr Sofia Pappa, lead consultant at Avenue House, has been appointed on primary and planned care. Dr Vanessa Raymont, based in the cognitive impairment and dementia (CID) team in Lakeside, is responsible for research into this area.

Dr Samantha Scholtz will lead on liaison and long term conditions, while psychologist Chris Harrop, part of the early intervention team based at Lakeside, has responsibility for access and urgent care.

Dr Susan Young already leads on forensic research and Dr Christine Wee is responsible for CAMHS.

The service-line based leads replace the previous research areas based on different mental health conditions.

Director of R&D, Dr Kevin Murray, said: “These appointments will help to promote research in services, embedding a research culture and engaging the staff who know patients best. It’s good news for patients because our clinicians will be able to use the latest, evidence-based treatments and interventions.

“And it’s a great opportunity for staff too. Those who want to be involved in research projects will be helping to develop better treatments and practices, and learning new, cutting edge skills. This will help us on our journey to increasing the amount of R&D we do and becoming a centre of excellence.  It’s an important step towards putting research on the agenda for staff and patients.”

Chris Harrop added: “I look forward to encouraging staff to generate their own research. We have excellent systems in place to support them, and will be on hand to give them pointers and guidance whenever needed.”

For more information, contact the communications team on 020 8354 8737 or at