Research is the way in which evidence is gathered about ‘what works’ in order to improve patient treatments for the future.

Our Centre for Research & Development (R&D) was launched on 17 April 2013. This page explains more about our approach to research and our particular areas of interest.

To find out about getting involved in our research, visit our research studies page.

A key principle of the NHS Constitution is that the NHS aims for the highest standards of excellence and professionalism through:

  • The delivery of high quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience
  • The people it employs, and in the support education, training and development they receive
  • The leadership and management of its organisations
  • Its commitment to innovation and to the promotion and use of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population.

The work of the Centre for Research and Development helps us to meet these pledges. It also helps us to deliver against the Trust’s strategy, vision and values

As well as being home to our research teams, the Centre for Research and Development hosts conferences and training courses throughout the year. The library provides a wide range of services to support Trust staff to deliver patient care, evidence-based practice and service development, based on lifelong learning, education and research.

There are three areas of research on which we have a particular focus:
  • Self-harm and suicide prevention – learn more on the self-harm and suicide prevention page
  • Dementia and delirium – led by Dr Simon Thacker, who has published articles about the use of antipsychotic drugs in the elderly, screening for dementia and the role of hope in dementia care
  • Substance misuse - see this patient information notice for more information about current research in susbtance misuse services and how data is being used.

We work with our clinical services and external contacts to develop our knowledge and understanding in these areas with the aim of improving patient care and community wellbeing.

Clinical research

We are committed to the promotion and conduct of high-quality clinically focused research. We work within our local research networks to increase the number of opportunities for our service users to take part in these research studies. Our Clinical Research Team works with clinicians to promote, facilitate and deliver national studies within the Trust.

The Centre for Research & Development 
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Kingsway Site
DE22 3LZ


Full contact details and directions

For more information about named individuals in the research teams, please see below.

Booking a room at the centre

Training rooms at our Centre for Research & Development can be booked for external meetings and events. There is a range of rooms with modern facilities and the site has ample parking. To make an enquiry, please email

The main team numbers for the research teams are 01332 623700 ext. 33215 or 33407. You can also contact the team via Twitter - see the latest tweets below.

Here are the contact details for individuals at the centre. Please note, any extension numbers are for 01332 623700.

Dr John Sykes

Medical Director and R&D Director

01246 515971

Medical Director, Caldicott Guardian and Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry. Previously lecturer at Sheffield University. Executive Director, lead for Safety and Information Governance. Passionate about compassionate care and management culture.

Rubina Reza

Research and Clinical Audit Manager


01332 623439


Clinical Audit

Ranjit Badhan

Clinical Audit & Research Coordinator


ext 31073

Clinical Auditor with 11 years’ experience in the field and close to 20 years' experience overall of working in the NHS for various organisations (Primary Care Group, Primary Care Trusts and Hospitals).

Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research

Keith Waters

Lead for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research



Having worked as a mental health nurse and team lead in the Derby acute general hospital setting, Keith has more than 25 years of clinical experience in liaison psychiatry, self-harm and suicide prevention. He is joint lead for the Derby site of the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England; sits on the steering group for the National Suicide Prevention Alliance; and was awarded an Honorary Research Fellowship by Derbyshire Healthcare in 2013. 

Jenny Ness

Health Services Research Lead


ext 33681

Research Project Manager for Liaison Psychiatry and the Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Joint lead for the Derby site of the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England.

Anita Patel

Research Assistant


ext 33579

MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology. Current research interests include: suicide, psychophysiology, self-harm and therapeutic alliance within inpatient settings.

Portfolio Study Team

Graham Spencer

Research Nurse


ext 33650

As a mental health nurse I worked on our wards for 20 years before moving into clinical research five years ago. I’ve been clinical lead for Schwartz since 2012. My interests include staff wellbeing, compassion and mental health research.

Gemma Harrison

Research Nurse


ext 33474

Mental Health Nurse for 18 years, six years of which have been spent in research. Special interests in older people and dementia.

Keeley Marriott

Clinical Studies Assistant


ext 33407


Audrey Williamson


Research Nurse


ext 33398

Mental health nurse for 37 years, having spent 16 years on our low secure facility, 15 years as a CPN, mainly working within Assertive Outreach Teams before becoming a Research Nurse for the past six years. My main interest remains with younger adults and psychosis but it has been nice reconnecting with older adults again.

Caroline Cheetham

Research Nurse


ext 33489

Mental Health Nurse for 18 years, having previously worked in an older adult day hospital and Memory Assessment Service. I moved to research five years ago. Areas of interest are older adults and dementia.

Andy Dingwall

Research Nurse


ext 33398

Mental Health Nurse on Adult Acute wards for seven years followed by 18 years on electronic health records projects. Joined Research Team in February 2018.

Marc Riley

Research Ambassador


ext 33407

Originally a volunteer service user in Trust research projects and a volunteer peer support worker due to personal mental health issues – upon finishing treatment I became a community support worker for the Trust and a patient research ambassador. My current role bridges the gap between service users and staff, and helps shape research as an on-going commitment.         

Dementia Research

Dr Simon Thacker

Director of Centre for Dementia


01332 623683

Consultant Psychiatrist with special interest in later life for 22 years. Currently combines research work with Liaison Psychiatry at the general hospital and medical management.

Neuroscience, Psychosis and Schizoprenia Research

Dr Mohan Rathnaiah Lead for Neuroscience, Psychosis and Schizphrenia Research   Honorary Assistant Professor at School of Medicine in University of Nottingham and Consultant in Liaison & Neuropsychiatry based at Royal Derby Hospital. Previously Clinical Assistant Professor in Psychiatry in University of Nottingham. Researcher in the field of Neuroscience, Psychosis, Schizophrenia and Dementia. Lead author of publications in peer reviewed journals and reviewer for prestigious journals. Passionate about delineating the aetiology of psychiatric disorders whilst providing person centred clinical care and engaging actively in clinical research
Studies include:
1.    SPRING research study

2.    Quantifying the core deficit in classical schizophrenia from MISP study
3.    Discourse in Psychosis



Marie Hickman

Library & Knowledge Manager


ext 33449

A librarian in the NHS for over 20 years. My role is to ensure access to the best available resources in support of evidence-based healthcare, research, education, training and strategic decision making. I am passionate about making sure the services we provide have an impact on patient care.

Meara Brooks

Library Trainee


ext 33449

When I was at college, I did work experience in a library and subsequently gained an apprenticeship at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Library.

Having been an apprentice as a library trainee, I am now a full-time employee as a library assistant. You can find me on the library desk. I can help Derbyshire Healthcare staff to obtain suitable books and journal articles. I can also help our staff to use computers and help them get through their e-learning.


Follow us on Twitter

View our latest tweets below or follow us @DHCFTResearch