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Research facilitator proud to be playing his part in south London

Study Support Service Facilitator Richard Rotimi has spoken about why he is involved in research with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CRN South London. Richard shares some of his personal interests and expresses his pride in his development from a Band 2 to a Band 6 position within Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

The aim of this monthly spotlight blog series is to celebrate, highlight, educate and inform the public about the diverse range of people who support vital research studies from within our region. We are proud of everyone who plays their part in contributing to improving the health of our population.

What do you do?

I work within the Study Support Service and we help research teams, Research and Development Departments and industry sponsors through: early contact and engagement, trial site identification, optimising delivery, effective study start up and through performance monitoring. I’m passionate about what I do. I work hard and diligently to strive for improvements so we can make things better for our patients and hospital trust partner organisations.

How would you describe yourself?

As a person, I am a family man who enjoys being at home with my wife and two boys. I always am friendly and amicable to my colleagues at CRN South London, who are an extension of my own family.

When did you join Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust?

I joined the trust as a Band 2 working in Medical Records in 2009. During my time at Guy’s Hospital, I have also worked in reception and in the former Cancer Department in Tower Wing. My aim is to always treat people with respect and love; you should always try to look after people.

Unfortunately, a number of people I knew died while I was working in the Cancer Department and that does leave a vacuum in your heart. I would have lunch with them and speak to the patients about all sorts of things. It was the death of a 15-year-old boy that made me consider a change in my career.

A vacancy came up within Division Six for a Band 4 Clinical Research Facilitator within CRN South London and I got the job - I’ll always be grateful to Research Delivery Manager for Division Six Nhlanhla Mguni and the Coneybeare House team for giving me a wonderful opportunity. I eventually worked my way up into a Band 5 post before a secondment came up within the industry team for a Study Support Service Facilitator on the 16th floor of Tower Wing at Guy’s Hospital, and I have remained in this post since 2016.

What are you interested in?

Football. I play all of the football management games and watch matches from all over the world. My team is Chelsea and my favourite memory is from when they won the Champions League in 2012.

I grew up in Belgium and caught the attention of scouts from Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht for my performances as a left winger. However, it was decided at the time that I needed to stay within education, but my love for the game will always remain.

Why are you involved in research?

Research is beautiful especially with how it improves lives. I have seen how family members have benefited from studies looking into sickle cell disease, which is a group of inherited conditions that affect the red blood cells. I’m keen to make my small contribution to improving outcomes for people from within this network.

Why is research important?

My thoughts go out to anyone who has lost someone during this COVID-19 pandemic. By coming together through research we can find out the answers to tackle this disease. I’d urge as many people as possible to consider participating in a research study by looking at the NIHR’s Be Part Of Research online service. The service tells you all about the latest health and social care research taking place from within England.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.