Coordinating centre role and staff
The coordinating centre manages the Mental Health Research Network on behalf of the Department of Health and provides specialist support and guidance to our eight regional offices (hubs). We are accountable to the Department of Health for the MHRN’s performance – recruiting to studies on time and to target – and for the use of resources, particularly finance.
Our role is also to communicate about the MHRN’s activities to both people who are involved in the studies we support and to the public, including people who may like to get involved in research.
We provide specialist support and guidance to industry, about information systems, and about patient and public involvement in research.
The majority of the coordinating centre staff are based at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and some are based at the University of Manchester in Preston.
Joanne is responsible for the day-to-day running of the MHRN. She is the bridge between the Executive Committee and staff based both within the coordinating centre and at the eight regional offices (hubs). She is also responsible for managing the MHRN’s patient and public involvement activities, which include the work of Service Users in Research and FACTOR.
Joanne joined the MHRN in 2004. She recently completed and submitted an MBA dissertation entitled How clinical researchers plan the recruitment phase of clinical research studies: are there lessons to be learnt? Joanne's background is in nursing: she qualified as a registered nurse in 1984 and held a variety of posts until she specialised in intensive/critical care, where she worked for eight years, first as a staff nurse, then as a sister. In 2001, she was seconded to the Intensive Care Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC) and worked on the first UK multi-centre non-commercial study in intensive care. The PAC-Man study examined the use of pulmonary artery catheters in intensive care units and recruited more than1000 participants: the results were published in the Lancet (2005, 366: 472-477).
Belinda Trengove-Jones is the Deputy Assistant Director (non-commercial) at the Coordinating Centre. She was previously covering Liz Hutt’s maternity at South London Hub in 2012. Belinda manages the set-up of all non-commercial studies and is the first point of contact for research teams applying to the MHRN for support. She worked closely with the eight MHRN regional hubs to coordinate all multi-centre studies through the set-up phase, helping study teams navigate the R&D approvals process and access the support they need. Belinda has a graduate Diploma in Psychology and previously worked as a project manager in cancer palliative care and public health research in Australia. She recently completed a Professional Diploma in Management with the Open University.
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Dr Thomas Kabir is from London and is a scientist by background. He was a mental health advocate in the capital for three years. He is also involved in the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme for London.
Mahesh is a chartered accountant with more than 20 years of extensive experience in both the private and public sector. He has been finance manager in the MHRN coordinating centre since August 2006. He previously worked as finance manager for the London Business School and has also worked for various NHS Trusts in short-term roles. Before coming to the UK in 2004, he worked in South Africa as finance manager of Big 4 International Accounting and for auditing firms like Ernst & Young and KPMG.
Kathryn Lobb joined the MHRN as Industry Liaison Manager in November 2009. She has over ten years' experience in drug development, having worked as a clinical research associate and project manager for large and small pharmaceutical companies as well as a major medical research charity. She is also an NIHR Good Clinical Practice Facilitator, and a trainer for the NHS Institute Productive Leader programme.
Biography to be added.
Bethan Thomas previously worked as a support worker with people experiencing severe and enduring mental health problems at a supported housing project. Prior to this Bethan spent two years working as a researcher on a wide range of health, social care and housing issues at a management consultancy provider to the voluntary and public sectors. Bethan has a degree in geography with Chinese studies from the University of Nottingham. Her role at the MHRN involves promoting the involvement of carers and the carer perspective in research and raising public awareness of MHRN activities.
Diane’s duties include entering data onto the Portfolio Database and ReDA, and she helps studies upload their recruitment data. She records monthly clinical studies officer activity on the CSO database and sets up teleconferences for studies. She also books travel, orders goods and manages the petty cash for the Preston office.
Prior to joining the MHRN in November 2009, she had worked for 20 years at a further education college in the student records department, collecting and inputting data to provide information for the college management team and government bodies.
Kathleen's role is to assist the administrator/database assistant entering data onto the Portfolio Database and Reda, providing support to researchers and sending out reminders about studies that are behind with recruitment. She also provides general administrative support with processing travelling expenses, electronic filing and ordering stationery.
Kathleen previously worked as a local government administrative officer and prior to that a branch manager for an estate agency.
page last updated 9 April 2013