The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Heather Rostron: NHS 70 at 70

3 January 2020

Heather Rostron Senior Research Nurse

Hello, my name is Heather Rostron and I have been a Senior Clinical Research Nurse at Leeds Children’s Hospital since 2010.

Six months ago I was awarded a place on the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) 70@70 senior nurse research national programme, which allows me 2 days a week to support and influence the research culture specifically amongst nurses and midwives. More recently I was awarded the Health Education England (HEE)/NIHR R&D North West Pre-Doc Bridging Funding which I use for various activities, leading to a more comprehensive and competitive NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CDRF).

I have immersed myself within the world of healthcare research since working for the University of Nottingham in 2005 and then joined the NIHR’s Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN) full time across the Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria area. From here a partnership was formed across West Yorkshire where I led all of the children’s Research Nurses across the 5 acute Trusts do develop the network and share best practice.

During 2017’s appraisal season I was approached by my manager to apply for the NIHR’s MSc in Clinical Research Methods at the University of Leeds. I applied and successfully graduated from this in September 2018. My dissertation focused on the views and attitudes of Chief Investigators (whose studies recruit children and young people (CYP)) towards the practice of working with CYP as advisors for their research. My results have informed the initiation of a Young Person’s Advisory Group for research at LTHT to support the Children’s Clinical Research Facility which opened in 2018.

My research interests are broad within the children’s speciality, as there are so many things that interest me….. but if I have to focus and choose for a PhD application then it would be within children’s rheumatology and the use of technology to support CYP and their families when managing both clinical and research consultations. After supporting the studies of other people for so long, it is now the right time for me to concentrate on my own clinical questions.

I feel incredibly lucky that at LTHT we have the post of Head of Nursing for R&I and that this post is held by Dr Heather Iles-Smith who has been instrumental in supporting me throughout my various applications and workstreams. Furthermore, my line manager Julie Evans holds the new post of Lead Nurse for Children’s Research and I am thankful for her never-ending support, understanding and patience with my Clinical Academic Career plans.

Going forward I am looking forward to working with Professor Tony Redmond, Michael (Mick) Mullane, and a small company who specialise in disease-specific apps and wearable devices. I am passionate about improving the lives of our CYP. The Bridging scheme will allow me to develop my supervisory team and complete some vital work which will contribute to a CDRF application.