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New NIHR South London RRDN leaders set out their aspirations

The new leaders of the NIHR South London Regional Research Delivery Network (RRDN) have set out their hopes and aspirations for the new organisation.

The NIHR South London RRDN will be hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and officially launch in October.

Dr James Lyddiard will oversee the organisation as the Network Director. The NIHR South London RRDN will support the wider ambition for England to have the premier, world-class research system to deliver high-quality research that enables the best care for its population. James said:

“It is an honour to have been appointed to the role of Director. I am excited about being a part of the collaborative leadership of the Research Delivery Network (RDN) as a member of the RDN Board, where key decisions will be made on the direction of the organisation.

“I want to help drive meaningful change in the system so that research will reach more people, address changing population needs, support the health and care system and the economy, and that research becomes a routine part of care.”

Dawn Beaumont-Jewell has been appointed as the Strategic Development Director. Dawn will be the senior officer responsible for developing, delivering and implementing the South London RRDN strategic plans to build research capacity and capability at an organisational and regional level. Dawn, who will start her new role in July, said:

“I’m excited by the opportunities the RDN will provide in terms of joint leadership and also helping to bring a consistent approach to colleagues delivering research across all settings. I’ve always been drawn to innovation and change management and look forward to what lies ahead.”

Building on the successes of the NIHR’s existing Clinical Research Network (CRN) South London, the RRDN will work across the health and care system, with staff in all health and care settings, and distribute funding to support the effective and efficient initiation and delivery of research.

In July, Clair Harris and Laura McCabe will become interim Health and Care Research co-Directors for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Professionals in the South London RRDN. Clair and Laura said:

“We are both passionate about nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals being represented in research and the recognition of the vital role they play in leading, supporting, and delivering health and social care research. Our appointment is a great opportunity to build upon the work we have done for the CRN.”

The Department of Health and Social Care will fund the new organisation.

Professor Andrew Shennan OBE and Dr Kosh Agarwal have been appointed Health and Care Research co-Directors for Medical and will start their work in July. Andrew and Kosh, who previously served as co-Clinical Directors for CRN South London, said:

“Both of us are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and we are keen to build on the CRN’s many successes. We look forward to working together and with our partners to ensure the wider healthcare system is recognised as one of the best places in the world to do research and to use our expertise to help the research ecosystem flourish for many years to come!”

The new NIHR Research Delivery Network will operate as one organisation across England through a network of 12 RRDNs and a central coordinating centre.

Dr Kate Blake, Director of Research and Development and Host Director for the South London RRDN at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“I would like to warmly welcome James, Dawn, Andrew, Kosh, Clair, and Laura to their new leadership roles. By coordinating our efforts with the NIHR to produce and deliver high-quality research, we will achieve better care and treatments across south London and beyond for patients and the public.”