RREC for Midlands Area and Corporate Division (Regional Health Area B)

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The Health Service Executive Midland Area Research Ethics Committee was set up in 2002 to consider both hospital and community-based research in the four counties of the then Midland Health Board - Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly. Unfortunately the Committee ceased taking applications in 2020 as the unprecedented workload associated with the COVID-19 pandemic meant that REC members had to prioritise health protection and service delivery. 

The National Research and Development Office is working to set up new HSE Reference Research Ethics Committees.

As part of this process a new committee has been set up which incorporates the previous area covered by the Midlands REC in addition to the other areas of Regional Health Area B (see below) and Corporate Services.  This committee is called The HSE Reference Research Ethics Committee (RREC) for the Midlands Area and Corporate Division (Regional Health Area B). 

We are accepting applications for research ethics review. .

Initial information about the RREC is available below. Please continue to visit this page for further updates.

Coverage of the HSE RREC for the Midlands Area and Corporate Division (Regional Health Area B)

This RREC covers:

  • HSE services and funded services (Section 38 and 39 services), which do not have access to their own REC, in Regional Health Area B (CHO7 and part of CHO8):
    • Co. Laois
    • Co. Offaly
    • Co. Longford
    • Co. Westmeath
    • Co. Kildare
    • Dublin South City
    • Dublin South West
    • Dublin West
    • West Wicklow
  • Hospitals in the geographic region which do not have a hospital ethics committee, namely (as of March 2022) Midland Regional Hospital (Mullingar, Tullamore and Portlaoise).
  • HSE Corporate Services.

Research taking place in the organisations listed above, that involves the participation of health service users, their personal data and/or their biological samples, health and social care staff, or the use of HSE healthcare services, premises or infrastructure, either directly or indirectly, must be reviewed by a HSE Reference REC, with the exception of those research studies under the remit of the NRECs

Scope

  • All HSE staff (including staff in Section 38 and 39 services) who wish to carry out research which needs access to facilities, staff, patients or clients, or information pertaining to staff or patients or clients of the HSE Midlands Area and Corporate (Regional Health Area B), including Section 38 and 39 Services, for the purposes of research.
  • All students, employed by the HSE or external to the HSE, who wish to carry out research which needs access to facilities, staff, patients or clients, or information pertaining to staff or patients or clients of the HSE Midlands Area and Corporate (Regional Health Area B), including Section 38 and 39 Services (which do not have access to their own REC), for the purposes of research.
  • All investigators, external to the HSE, who wish to have access to staff, patients or clients, facilities or information pertaining to patients, clients or staff of the HSE Midlands Area and Corporate (Regional Health Area B), including Section 38 and 39 Services which do not have access to their own REC, for the purposes of research.
  • Please note that this RREC: 
    • is not recognised by the Department of Health under regulation 7 of the European Communities Regulations (Clinical Trials on Medicinal Products for Human Use (S.I. 190 of 2004)). This RREC therefore does not consider clinical trials of medicinal products and devices. The National Research Ethics Committees (NRECs) are responsible for the ethical review of Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) and the clinical investigations of Medical Devices (MD) – see www.nrecoffice.ie/ for information.
    • is not a Clinical Ethics Committee and does not deal with or give an opinion on ethics issues in clinical practice and health service provision

Application procedure

  1. Please email REC.B.CorporateMidlands@hse.ie  to inform of your intention to apply to the RREC, indicating the meeting date for which you are applying. This is so that we can monitor the number of applications in case we reach our meeting limit. We will advise you if the limit has been reached.
  2. For applications to be considered at a meeting, the submission deadline must be met to enable us to triage and prepare applications in advance of each meeting.  
  3. Applications will be returned, without review, if they are incomplete and not accompanied by all relevant documentation upon submission. Such documentation is outlined in the checklist. It includes, among other documentation, evidence of GDPR training (in the past 24 months) for all people named in the application form; DPIA screening and, where indicated, completed DPIA signed by the DPO; participant information and consent forms. Unfortunately we will need to adhere strictly to this requirement.
  4. The interim RREC guidance document (v1.3) is available here. This is a working draft and will continue to be updated over the coming weeks. 
  5. The standardised application form is available here and in-depth instructions on how to complete each question are available here.
  6. Each application must be accompanied by a completed checklist (each item must be ticked – yes, no or n/a as appropriate) and appropriate documentation. The checklist (version 6.3) is available here. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the checklist so that you know what you are expected to submit with your application form and have time to compile same for submission. 
  7. Make sure you have your DPIA screening document completed, and, if same is needed, your completed DPIA (reviewed by relevant DPO) - see below for more information. Please allow yourself sufficient time to complete the DPIA and to have it reviewed by relevant DPO prior to our submission deadlines.
  8. Applications and documentation should be submitted by email only to REC.B.CorporateMidlands@hse.ie by the deadline - please try to keep the attachment sizes as small as possible so that the your email is not quarantined by HSE email content filter.
  9. All attachments or appendices included with the application form should have a clear file name.
  10. Please note:
    • if you need participant consent for your research project you must also submit all consent related documentation (i.e. participant information leaflet, informed consent form)
    • if you are doing a research study that involves children aged under 18 years you must also submit age appropriate patient information leaflets and assent forms for each paediatric age grouping in your study
    • it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure all documentation is completed honestly and truthfully
    • if the RREC approves the research study the approval letter will include information indicating that the Principal Investigator, or the person they have nominated, will be required to:
      • report serious adverse reactions related to study drug/ intervention/ procedures to the RREC
      • submit an annual update, end of study notification, and a final report to the RREC
  11. Applicants can expect to receive a formal decision letter within 10 working days of the RREC meeting.

Data protection and research

For information about data protection and research, please visit https://hseresearch.ie/data-protection-and-research/ and see https://www.nrecoffice.ie/wp-content/uploads/NREC-Guidance-on-data-protection-and-data-sharing-Final.pdf

The Health Research Data Protection Network have published their Practical guide on data protection for health researchers and it is available on their website - www.ncto.ie

HSE Research and Development hosted a webinar, Beginners guide to completing a DPIA, which you may find useful. The slides are available to download from on www.hseresearch.ie

We ask for proof of GDPR training - it would be anticipated that this training should have taken place within the last 24 months. If training predates that, we would suggest that it should be taken again and current certificate(s) submitted with application. HSE staff can access GDPR training on HSELaND.

Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

For information about Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA), please see https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/organisations/know-your-obligations/data-protection-impact-assessments

In the absence of a site specific DPIA, the HSE's standard Privacy Impact Assessment form is available at https://healthservice.hse.ie/filelibrary/staff/privacy-impact-assessment-form.pdf :

  • Page 3 (Section 1) outlines the screening questions to determine if the rest of that form (Sections 2-5) should be completed.
  • Should the rest of the form need to be completed, the completed form will need to be reviewed by the DPO (Section 6). Page 2 of the form lists the DPO contact details.
  • Guidance in relation to the PIA is available at https://healthservice.hse.ie/filelibrary/staff/privacy-impact-assessment-pia-guidance.pdf
  • A set of slides is available - BEGINNERS GUIDE TO COMPLETING A DATA PROTECTION IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR RESEARCH PROJECTS - on the HSE Research and Development webpage at https://hseresearch.ie/research-development-news/ scroll down to heading - 8th June 2022.

Activities not requiring RREC review

Specific activities do not require RREC review. These include:

  • Research using existing publicly available documents or data
  • Observational studies in public places in which the identity of the participant remains anonymous
  • Case study of one patient with the proviso that written informed consent has been obtained from the relevant study subject/participant
  • Quality assurance studies
  • Clinical Audits
  • Service Evaluations

It can be difficult to differentiate research, audit and evaluation. The HSE National Review of Clinical Audit (see page 41) distinguishes between clinical audit, service evaluation and research and indicates when research ethics committee review is required. The Standard Code of Governance and Management Required for HSE Reference Research Ethics Committees (see pages 26-28) outlines additional activities that generally do not require ethical approval.

The NHS's Health Research Authority, in conjunction with the UK's Medical Research Council, has developed a useful decision making tool to help you decide if your activity is a research project, clinical audit, evaluation study or usual practice. It is available at http://www.hra-decisiontools.org.uk/research/index.html (please note that this a UK tool and therefore refers to UK structures, however, it remains a useful tool to determine if your activity is research).

For further information please see HSE’s Research & Development page “What is Research” at https://hseresearch.ie/

If this RREC is consulted about whether or not RREC review is required because of uncertainty as to whether the work is research, audit or service evaluation, you will be asked to consult the guidance above. If, having considered the guidance above, you are still in doubt about the need for a RREC review, you will likely be advised to submit a full RREC application as this is the only way that the RREC will have all relevant information to hand in order to make a decision. This is because a review of a study by the Chair and/or the Vice-Chair to decide whether it should go to the RREC for ethics review is quite an involved process, particularly if additional information is required. Requests like these are often made before the project is fully worked up. These sort of requests often become more delayed than straightforward submission and review. If you ask this RREC whether review is required and the information is unclear or there is great uncertainty, you will most likely be advised to submit the project for full ethics review. Ultimately, it is the decision for the principal investigator to decide whether to submit a project for ethics review.

For staff wishing to publish the results of an activity that is not research and does not require RREC review, this RREC does not provide a letter stating that review or approval is not needed. We would suggest that you link in, as appropriate, with your Quality and Patient Safety lead or your clinical audit department for guidance. For further information about the National Centre for Clinical Audit, please visit www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/nqpsd/ncca/ 

2022 meeting dates and closing dates for applications

Submission Date - no later than 5p.m. on RREC meeting on*:
07-Apr 17-May
23-May 21-Jun
21-Jun 19-Jul
18-Jul 16-Aug 
23-Aug 20-Sep
20-Sep 18-Oct
17-Oct 15-Nov
15-Nov 13-Dec

Applicants can expect to receive a formal decision letter within 10 working days of the RREC meeting.

Contact details

  • Laura Smith, Manager – Reference Research Ethics Committee Midlands Area and Corporate (Regional Health Area B)
  • Karen Guilfoyle, Administrator - Reference Research Ethics Committee Midlands Area and Corporate (Regional Health Area B)

C/o Department of Public Health - Public Health Area B | HSE Area Office | Arden Road | Tullamore | Co. Offaly |  R35 TY28 | E-mail: REC.B.CorporateMidlands@hse.ie 

Complaints

  • The HSE wants to provide safe and high-quality services so that patients receive the best care and treatment. Patient feedback matters as it helps to improve HSE services. The HSE wants to hear from service users about their experience of what worked, what could improve or what didn't work. There are many ways to tell the HSE about your experience as a service user. Full details are available at https://www2.hse.ie/services/hse-complaints-and-feedback/your-service-your-say.html (clicking this link will open the your service your say webpage in a new window)
  • In relation to research activities specifically, complaints may be made to RREC by patients (or their family members or next of kin), research participants (or their family members or next of kin), researchers, staff of institutions, or others. The research applicant should include the RREC contact details on their participant information leaflets. All complaints will be handled promptly and sensitively by the RREC:
    • Complaints should be submitted in writing or by email to the RREC. However, if this is not possible, the RREC manager can arrange to speak to someone by phone.
    • The RREC Manager will acknowledge the complaint, and also inform the HSE Reference REC Support and Co-ordination Office, within 5 working days of its submission and outline the course of action in response to the complaint.
    • The RREC manager will keep the HSE Reference REC Support and Co-ordination Office informed of any actions and decisions made in relation to the complaint. If the HSE Reference REC Support and Co-ordination Office needs any additional information it will be supplied by the RREC
    • Should any patient, research participant, researcher, staff of institution, or others be dissatisfied with the response of this RREC to their complaint they can approach the HSE Reference REC Support and Co-ordination Office. This RREC manager will provide the necessary contact details/pathway.

Committee members

Click on + to see a bio for each member

Dr Úna Fallon, Chairperson. HSE National Clinical Lead, Acute Operations Response Programme

Bio to follow

Patricia Carney Ph.D., Deputy Chairperson. Senior Public Health Research Officer, Department of Public Health, Public Health Area B

Patricia is Senior Research Officer in the Department of Public Health HSE Midlands. She is a trained health economist with over 12 years research experience. Her main expertise is estimating economic, social and health costs through the application of a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. In her current role, she works closely with a variation of healthcare professionals including nurses, surveillance scientists, Senior Medical Officers, Specialists in Public Health Medicine and administration staff.

Patricia's research to date focuses primarily on public health and ageing, dementia, social and healthcare policy. She lead a national study investigating the needs of family carers of people recently diagnosed with dementia for translation into policy and practice. In addition, she also designed and organised Ireland's first Carer's Assembly which helped determine key areas for investment by government to improve the lives of family carers and those they provide care to.

Patricia previously led the evaluation of The Atlantic Philanthropies' dementia investment in Ireland, determining how the investment impacted the landscape of care for persons with dementia and worked to change the policy approach to dementia in Ireland. Her Ph.D., titled "Economic Explorations of Equity Issues Across the Care Pathway in Breast Cancer," involved the application of a variety of econometric and quantitative techniques to large public and health data sets.

She also played a key role in a number of projects commissioned by UN Women and The World Bank examining the economic and social costs of violence against women and girls estimating the impact of violence on economic growth in developing countries. 

Specialties include: Research; project management; econometric modelling; measuring inequality; economic evaluation; mathematical modelling; health economics; microeconomics; public and patient involvement in research (PPI); stakeholder engagement; quantitative research.

Dr Mary Casey, Deputy Chairperson. Associate Professor, University College Dublin School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems

Mary is Associate Professor at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. She is currently working with twelve universities across the EU, Russia, Vietnam and Uzbekistan on the development and implementation of an international curriculum to Improve Healthcare Outcomes in Chronic Disease as part of an Erasmus Plus Programme. Prior to this Mary was the Associate Dean for Taught Graduate and Continuous Professional Development Programmes.

Mary has more than 20 years of experience in nursing and health systems research. Her research activity is primarily focused on enhancing the contribution of nursing and health systems to patient care. Facilitating collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to identify areas for improvement in existing service provision, particularly in areas such as organisation development and change, implementation of clinical research to improve the quality and safety of services is the main focus of her research. She has considerable experience of educating nursing students, policy makers and managers and has supervised students undertaking both clinical and applied research in Irish healthcare. Her current research activity is on nursing and midwifery metrics, empowerment in midwifery, general practice nursing, advanced nursing and midwifery practice and the application of action research to health services research. She has published articles in leading nursing and midwifery journals as well as co-authored articles with medical and other colleagues in other healthcare journals. She has developed international research networks and led successful multi-institutional interdisciplinary bids to international funding agencies. She is a registered nurse, registered midwife and registered tutor with a background in critical care nursing, nursing education and hospital management as a Director of Nursing. She was responsible for initiating the development of the first MSc Med Science (Nursing) in Ireland. She obtained a PhD from the School of Business, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education.

Patricia Garvey Ph.D., Deputy Chairperson. Principal Epidemiologist, HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre

Patricia is a Principal Epidemiologist at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. She has twenty years experience in infectious disease epidemiology, primarily for food and waterborne disease, Hepatitis C, and most recently COVID-19. She has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from University College Cork, an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is an alumna of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control EPIET fellowship programme.

Antonia Bura, Expert Member. Research and Data Officer - Homeless Health, HSE National Social Inclusion Office

Antonia is a psychologist with a background in experimental psychology, diploma in predictive data analytics and experience in supporting people with complex needs toward recovery.

Edel Burton, Expert Member. PhD Scholar, School of Public Health, University College Cork and Clinical Pharmacist, Bonsecours Hospital, Cork

Edel is a practising clinical pharmacist and HRB Structure Population and Health Services Research Education (SPHeRE) PhD Scholar on the Health Research Board Collaborative Doctoral Programme in Chronic Disease Prevention (CDP-CDP) in University College Cork.

Edel has gained clinical and research experience across multiple sectors. She has worked in both community and hospital settings and on multiple research projects.

Edel’s research interests include chronic disease prevention, pre-hospital care, antimicrobial stewardship and medication management in the multimorbid ageing population. She has combined research and practice during her time in four Cork hospitals, which has informed her health-services research to date. Edel is also currently working with the National Ambulance Service Clinical Directorate.

Edel’s PhD study focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ambulance response times and emergency call volumes for stroke/TIA (mini-stroke). Edel is very interested in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and general Stakeholder Involvement in her research and has multiple links with community organisations and healthcare providers.

Jane Cardiff, Public Patient Representative. Social Worker, HSE Children's Disability Service

Jane has worked in children's disability services since 2019. She is currently a social worker on a Children's Disability Network Team. Prior to this she worked for Tusla (formerly the HSE) from 2013-2019. Jane previously sat on a REC of a disability service provider (2019-2021).

Jane's motivation to be on the committee derives from the desire for her community to be represented. She is an autistic adult living in the area that this committee covers. She is a parent of two children, has experience accessing many health services in her local area, including the local hospital, primary care services, children's disability services, home help and adult mental health services. Jane is keen to ensure the voices of patients who access these and all health services in Slaintecare Area B are represented on this committee.

Dr Niamh Clarke, Expert Member. Associate Professor, University College Dublin School of Psychology and Principal Psychologist Manager, HSE

Niamh is an Associate Professor at the UCD School of Psychology and a HSE Principal Psychologist Manager and has also worked as a General Manger and Network manager within the HSE.

Niamh has more than 25 years of experience working as a psychologist in the HSE across primary care, disabilities, mental health and acute settings. As the clinical training coordinator for the Midlands, Niamh has worked closely with Clinical and Educational Psychology training programmes in UCD, UL and NUIG. She has published articles in leading psychology journals and has co-authored articles with psychology and other colleagues in other healthcare journals. She has considerable experience of educating psychologists, teachers and managers, and has supervised over 20 psychology doctoral trainees undertaking clinical research in Irish healthcare.

Niamh is passionate about developing universal psychological services, infant mental health, supervision and positive psychology. Her current research activity is developing a National Stress Control programme with fellow principal psychologist colleagues.

Niamh has been a member of the Midlands Regional Ethics Committee, a member of the Heads of Psychology Services Ireland (HPSI) and was the Minster for Children’s representative on the Board of Directors for Gaisce, the President’s award. She is a Charted Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland and British Psychological Society, a registered clinical supervisor and a registered secondary school teacher. She obtained a PhD from the School of Psychology, University College Dublin (UCD) and is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) BA Hons MSc, HDip Ed , H Dip Management , Dip in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare (RCPI) .

Dr Ciaran Corcoran, Expert Member. Consultant Psychiatrist, HSE

Ciaran is a full-time consultant psychiatrist working in rehabilitation psychiatry in Longford/Westmeath. He graduated from University College Galway in 1995 with a degree in Medicine and, following the Mater/University College Dublin scheme in psychiatry, completed his higher training in the North East of England. He has been a consultant psychiatrist  in St Loman’s Hospital since 2008.

Ciaran's research work involved examining the efficacy of a new device, a vagus nerve stimulator, in treatment resistant depression. More recently he is an ESI Research Fellow and examining CBT in first episode schizophrenia as part of a Cochrane review with Dr Irene Bighelli of the Technical University of Munich.  He has also completed  a Masters in Digital health Transformation with University of Limerick in 2022.

Amanda Cowan, Expert Member. Senior Speech and Language Therapist, HSE

Amanda qualified with a BSc Hons. Clinical Speech and Language studies from Trinity College and has worked in various settings such as community and hospital and across the different care groups of primary care, disability and elderly services.

Amanda has advanced skills in dysphagia management and videofluoroscopy.

Amanda is a graduate of the Leading Care 1 course from the Health Leadership Academy and holds a diploma in Digital Health from Dell and Irish Management Institute award in Executive Health Care Leadership. Amanda has a special interest in evidence based practice, long term conditions and end of life care. She recently engaged in a post graduate Masters module in the University of Ulster at Jordanstown.

Zeta Dooley, Public Patient Representative. Lecturer and researcher

Zeta is a Lecturer in HE at the School of Education and Lifelong learning (WIT). She is Programme Lead for the Certificate in Technology Enhanced Learning and lectures on the Masters in Education.

Zeta is research active and contributes to the CITO Erasmus + Basic Skills Checker, HEA funded Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Hecat project (H2020) Disruptive Technologies Supporting Labour Market Decision Making projects. She has been awarded research grants to fund 3 PhD scholars that she supervises in the areas of Immersive Learning Environments, Critical Data Studies and the Influence of Education on Careers. Additionally, she has recently been awarded funding to build an Education Lab at SETU for mixed reality experience experimentation for adult learners (neurodiverse and neurotypical). She has also successfully supervised many Masters in Education student dissertations.

Zeta is a contributing member to SETU Academic council and sub-council for teaching and learning including specific initiatives in relation to micro-credentials, digital badges, online assessment and student centric teaching. She is a member of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning and Humanities Joint Research Board. Zeta is the mother of 4 children and has family experience with congenital heart disease, autism and childhood cancer.

Dr Ciara Duignan, Expert Member. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, University College Dublin

Ciara is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Digital Health at the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics. She holds a PhD in Digital Health and BSc in Physiotherapy from University College Dublin.

Ciara designs and manages interdisciplinary research projects with academic and industry partners to develop user-centred processes and technologies that can support people’s health, wellbeing, and personal development.

Ciara is an Education and Public Engagement (EPE) champion at the Insight Centre where she promotes engaged research methodologies. Her related interests are in data ethics and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Dr Jane Finnucane, Expert Member. Senior Medical Officer, HSE CHO9

Jane completed her medical degree in London in 2010 and worked in the NHS for 2 years. On returning to Ireland, she worked in Emergency Medicine and completed her GP training in 2017.

Jane currently works as a senior medical officer in the HSE in CHO 9.

Dr Kathy Gately, Expert Member. Clinical Scientist & Clinical Senior Lecturer, Thoracic Oncology Research Group, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, St. James's Hospital and Trinity College Dublin

Kathy is a Clinical Scientist at St. James’s Hospital Dublin (SJH) and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at TCD. She has >20 years experience in clinical research, biobanking and molecular diagnostics. Her translational research group focuses on the liquid biopsy, biomarker identification and drug discovery to advance precision medicine approaches to cancer treatment. Kathy supervises and mentors a team of trans-disciplinary research staff and students and her research is funded by Enterprise Ireland, HEA and industry collaborations.

She lectures both undergraduate & postgraduate students on Modules in Molecular Medicine and Translational Oncology at Trinity College Dublin. She established and co-manages the St. James’s Hospital lung biobank and co-founded the Target Lung Cancer initiative to raise public awareness of lung cancer. She is Senior Scientist (Translational Oncology) at Inflection Biosciences Ltd advising on their research program. Kathy sits on journal editorial boards and reviews grants for multiple funding agencies and joins the ethics committee with a view to supporting health research in Ireland.

Finnian Hanrahan, Expert Member. Scientific Programme Manager, Research Centres Science Foundation Ireland, Dublin

At Science Foundation Ireland, Finnian has responsibility for SFI Research Centres in the domains of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and health.

Prior to joining Science Foundation Ireland, Finnian worked for the European Commission in Brussels. There he was responsible for a portfolio of research and innovation on vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, with a particular focus on the EU's clinical trial ecosystem and international cooperation.

Finnian has a background in genetics and was awarded a PhD from Trinity College Dublin in 2013.

Dr Noel Hemmings, Expert Member. Consultant Anaesthesiologist, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore

Bio to follow

Philip James, Expert Member. Clinical Nurse Specialist / Co-ordinator, Substance Use Service for Teens (SUST), HSE Social Inclusion

Philip is a mental health nurse specialising in adolescent substance use. He has an MSc. in Nursing from the Royal College of Surgeon's in Ireland and an MSc. in Addiction Recovery from Trinity College Dublin. He is currently a clinician and co-ordinator of the treatment service for under 18s with substance use disorders in Louth / Meath. 

In addition to his clinical role, he is a PhD. candidate in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin focusing on improving access and uptake of substance use services by teens. He has also been involved in a variety of peer reviewed research publications and authored numerous book chapters on adolescent substance use.

Charlotte Johnston, Expert Member. Senior Paediatric Dietitian in Primary Care

Charlotte is a Registered Dietitian currently working in the provision of Dietetic Service to Primary Care Paediatrics in the Midlands Region.  Charlotte has previously worked in the clinical setting in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and has also worked in the areas of Disabilities and Public Health.  She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, (DIT / TCD); MSc in Food Science from University College Dublin and a PhD from DIT.

Charlotte has a keen interest in research in the paediatric population, being actively involved in a number of Public Health Nutrition projects throughout her career.  Her current interests include Paediatric Nutrition and Health Promotion; prevention of Chronic Disease through lifestyle modification, and dietetic treatment of a variety of infant and childhood nutrition related issues.

Siobhán Masterson Ph.D FERC, Expert Member. National Ambulance Service Lead for Clinical Strategy and Evaluation Clinical Directorate

Siobhán is the National Ambulance Service Lead for Clinical Strategy & Evaluation and is a member of the National Ambulance Service Research Committee. She is an Honorary Senior Research Lecturer with the National University of Ireland Galway, where she manages a study investigating community first response to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Siobhán originally worked as a Community Dietitian in Co. Donegal before joining the Department of Public Health Medicine where she worked on implementation of a diabetes management system and the introduction of the North West Diabetic Retinopathy Screening System.

While on secondment to NUI Galway, Siobhán implemented and then managed the Irish OHCA registry (OHCAR) for eight years before completing a PhD in OHCA epidemiology. She is a Study Management Team member with the European Registry of Cardiac Arrest (EuReCa) – a project of the European Resuscitation Council. Siobhán has recently joined the International Liaison Committee Basic Life Support Taskforce as an expert member. She regularly peer reviews for a variety of journals including Resuscitation, Resuscitation Plus and BMJ Open.

Brenda Monaghan, Expert Member. Assistant Professor Discipline of Physiotherapy, Trinity College Dublin

Brenda qualified from UUJ as a physiotherapist in 1995 and since then has completed a higher diploma in Health Sciences in UEA, an MSc in Advanced Practice of Physiotherapy in UUJ, and following successful achievement of a clinical fellowship from the HRB a PhD in UCD.

She has been employed as a Clinical Specialist physiotherapist in the HSE for 15 years and has developed an innovative role as a clinical physiotherapist blending research and clinical innovation. All research projects have been clinically based and focused on multi-disciplinary clinical teams. Many have focused on audit and clinical effectiveness.

Dr Adedeji Daniel Obikoya, Expert Member. Dental Surgeon, Clonbrusk Primary Care Centre, Athlone, Co Westmeath

Ade is a practising dental surgeon with a special interest in Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Dental Public Health, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and Leadership in Healthcare. He holds specialisation certificates in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. He is a professional member of the global health network, a clinical academic fellow at Warwick Medical School, an associate fellow of the college of general dentistry and a fellow of the international association of dental and facial aesthetics.

Elizabeth O'Donnell, Public Patient Representative. Regulatory Researcher in Health and Social Care, Dublin. Affiliated with Lancaster University

Elizabeth works as a regulatory researcher in Health and Social Care in Ireland. She recently completed her PhD in Mental Health at the Division of Health Research, Lancaster University. Her doctoral research study explored how care home staff in Ireland support residents with responsive behaviours, such as agitation and aggression. Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) with collaborators from the Irish Dementia Working Group informed the research design to ensure that the findings would be impactful in improving care for people with dementia.

The research findings identified the barriers and facilitators to reducing inappropriate prescribing of psychotropic drugs to manage responsive behaviours in people with dementia. Elizabeth also developed recommendations to assist the development of dementia guidelines, policy and practice, to promote taking a non-pharmacological approach to support care home residents. She has presented the findings of the research at many national and international conferences including the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC, 2021) and Alzheimer Europe Conference (2021) and the European Geriatric Medicine Society International Congress (EuGMS, 2020 and 2021). In 2021, Elizabeth was awarded the Sterling Prize Award at the British Society of Gerontology 50th Annual Conference (BSG). She has recently published a paper in the International Journal of Nursing Studies entitled ‘Strategies used by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia: a systematic review of qualitative studies.’

During the doctoral programme, Elizabeth received extensive training in research ethics and gained invaluable experience in acquiring research ethical approval. She has a particular interest in protecting the rights of research participants.

Dr Mary Quirke, Expert Member. Researcher, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin

Mary currently works as Project Manager/Research Fellow on TechChild, a European Research Council funded research project. This overarching aim of this body of research is to investigate influences on the decision to initiate life sustaining technological dependence for chronically critically ill children (using long term ventilation as an exemplar). Prior to this role, Mary worked as a Research Lead with the Trinity Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation (TCPHI) at Trinity College Dublin and was responsible for the development of collaborative research partnerships between Tallaght University Hospital/CHI at Tallaght clinical staff and TCD academic staff. Mary holds a PhD. in Psychology from Maynooth University, an MA in Forensic Psychology from University College Cork and a BA (Hons) from Maynooth University.

Dr Thomas Roux, Expert Member. Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Public Health Medicine Ireland and Public Health Area C

Thomas is a Specialist Registrar on the Faculty of Public Health Medicine Ireland Higher Specialist Training scheme, currently working in Regional Health Area C. He holds a Master of Public Health, a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Data Analytics), and is a Diplomate Member of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine Ireland. He is currently completing a PhD in Public Health.

Ann Sheerin, Expert Member. Community Services Manager, HSE

Bio to follow

Simone Walsh, Expert Member. Senior Research Projects Manager, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI)

Bio to follow

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