NIHR CRN updates – January 2020

Staff Update- Associate Director of Nursing and 70@70 Programme Lead role 

Clare Meachin left her seconded role at the CRNCC as the Associate Director of Nursing and Programme Lead for 70@70 (and also her substantive role as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for CRN South London) at the end of November 2019 to take up a post as one of the Directors of Nursing at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Clare provided invaluable leadership for the development and implementation of the 70@70 Programme since Susan Hamer’s retirement at the end of 2018, and has done outstanding work in engaging with senior stakeholders and nurses and midwives at all levels around the programme.

Clare said: “After working in clinical research for the past 20 years, and developing the 70@70 programme I see a role as a Director of Nursing, back in an NHS Trust, as a fitting end to my career as a nurse. In all honesty, I will use all I have learnt and understood about research, NHS Engagement and all the many facets of delivery of research in the NHS in the new job. Making connections between clinical priorities, research and evidence-based care will I hope be the foundation of this new role for me…

 I will miss all the amazing people I have met and worked with over the past 20 years – it will be quite a wrench leaving research – but it is all for the right reasons both professionally and personally.


As many of you are aware, the Department of Health and Social Care has agreed to fund a new role of ‘NIHR Director for Nursing and Midwifery’, whose responsibilities include leadership for the 70@70 Programme.  As that role is not scheduled to commence until spring 2020, we are delighted to confirm that Dr Sharon Barrett, currently on secondment to the CRNCC, has succeeded Clare as the interim Associate Director of Nursing and 70@70 Programme Director for the coming period.  Sharon is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer at CRN North Thames but is qualified nurse with a specialist background in cardiovascular medicine.

Sharon has been interim Head of Feasibility and Start Up since May 2019 and leading on a number of key areas such as; the management of feasibility service and the introduction of the new approach to assessing study start up and intra-study variability (HLO9).  She has also supported key projects such as; excess treatment costs, interactive costing tool, confidentiality disclosure agreements and more recently the commercial contract research project.  She has also been involved in discussions around the expansion and engagement within social care and building partnerships with NHS England and Genomics Medicine Service and Genomics England






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