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NHS colleagues from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex thanked for supporting research

Colleagues from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex who work in research, or have a role in research have been saying thank you to NHS members of staff who have made a difference to the delivery of vital health and care research projects across the region.  

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex Research Support Awards were established to recognise the “unsung heroes” of research - those NHS colleagues who give help and support to Research and Development departments, research delivery teams, Chief Investigators and Principal Investigators across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Over 66 individuals and teams were nominated by over 80 colleagues. Each person or team nominated received a certificate and four overall winners were chosen by a panel of judges, alongside four Highly Commended awards. Winners received £500 for their organisation and those awarded Highly Commended received £250 for their organisation.

The overall winners

Acute Trust: COVID-19

Winner: Katherine Lee, Lead Critical Care Pharmacist, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended:  Claire Manneh, Directorate Matron for Head and Neck Services and Interim Deputy Chief nurse, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Acute Trust: Non-COVID-19

Winner: Children’s Emergency Department, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended: Anna Nicholas, Fertility Nurse Specialist, Ashford and St Peter's NHS Foundation Trust

Community Trust:

Winner: Sexual Health Team, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended: Carol Baguley, Advanced Specialist Paediatric Dietitian, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health Trust:

Winner: High Weald, Lewes and Havens Specialist Older Adults Mental Health Service Memory Service, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended: Michaela Jennings, Associate Nurse Practitioner Community Mental Health Teams (Older People), Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Dr Joanne Zamani, Chief Operating Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “We know our researchers do a fantastic job delivering research to advance patient care. We also know there are many unsung heroes, for example colleagues in HR, blood screening and finance, who support research delivery. Many of these colleagues don’t even realise the impact of their contribution and these awards are an opportunity for Kent, Surrey and Sussex researchers to say ‘Thank you’ and make them aware how valued their work is. We hope that all the nominees  will continue to be involved in research activities within their Trust.”

Professor Geeta Menon, Clinical Director CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “It was a difficult choice for the judging panel to choose the winners out of the many inspiring nominations.  We want to thank everyone who was nominated for helping create opportunities for our patients to take part in vital health and care research.

“This has been really important during the pandemic when our NHS colleagues have been working hard on COVID-19 studies, which have led to finding treatments and vaccines. Assistance has also been given to non-COVID-19 research over the last two years, ensuring that patients with a range of conditions can continue to access opportunities to take part in research.”