Sharon Simpson

Lead Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) Research Nurse

Core team

Sharon.Simpson@solent.nhs.uk

My role

Lead Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) Research Nurse

My responsibilities

My responsibilities are to find suitable Older Persons Mental Health studies with the National Institute for Health research (NIHR) portfolio and to liaise with study teams to identify whether Solent can host the studies within our services and be able to assist in offering our patients the opportunities to be involved within research. I would then set up the study to run within Solent and then work alongside the services to identify potential patients who wish to be involved in research. Once agreed I would consent the patient and possibly their carer/family member to begin working with them upon what the study requires. Furthermore I work alongside care and nursing homes in recruiting residents into suitable studies and assist in the promotion and collaborative working with their staff to identify new and innovative ideas for promoting our programme: Care Home Research Partnership.     

My background

As a qualified RMN I have worked within inpatient and community settings over the years, in all mental health areas:  CAMHS, Drug and Alcohol, Forensic, AMH, OPMH as a staff nurse and then a community psychiatric nurse. I have a Master’s Degree in Gerontology and the past 6 years have worked within Research and Improvement leading the Older Persons Mental Health division of portfolio studies. 

Why I love my job

I thoroughly enjoy my job as I get to use my skills and knowledge base as a mental health nurse working with older people but within the field of research delivery, which I am very passionate about.  I am very keen to offer older people and their carers/family member’s opportunities to want to make a difference and get involved within research to shape the future of our services and interventions.  It is imperative we listen to our patients and hear from the heart what matters to them,  and as professionals it is our job to try to understand and deliver what we can to make that difference to people’s lives. 

More about me

I am married with three daughters, two of whom are engaged. I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughters and enjoy attending Pilates classes and exercise. A wacky thing about me is that I love karaoke and always tend to sing Madonna tracks.

Current projects/research studies

I have recently finished a fellowship programme in Frailty and have worked collaboratively with another trust to develop a film in assisting people in identifying the signs of frailty and how we can signpost people to receive guidance and advice in reducing frailty.

My current studies:

  • FinCh, Falls in care Homes:  This involves working alongside nursing and care homes in addressing the reduction of falls in older people. 
  • AD-Genetics: This study aims to identify the genetics in Alzheimer’s disease in both older and younger people diagnosed with the condition.
  • Autism Study: This study aims to address the accessing of services that are set up for people diagnosed with Autism.
  • TACIT: Tai Chi in DemenTia: This study aims to address whether Tai Chi can improve strength and balance in older people diagnosed with Dementia.

In set up:

  • Astroglial Activation and Aqueduct