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Dr Sarah Williams

Director for Research and Improvement

My role

I am the Director for Research and Improvement, and lead the Academy, its core team and the clinical academic programme for Solent NHS Trust. I also work nationally and across Wessex on a number of areas, such as quality improvement, research strategy, patient and community partnership working and workforce development.

My responsibilities

I'm here to make sure my team enjoy their work and can support others to be involved in research, quality improvement, audit and other forms of using evidence to improve our care. I see a massive part of that role as championing the patient voice and building partnerships with both colleagues and those that use or connect with the Trust's services, particularly through research and improvement programmes. I am part of the Trust senior leadership team, reporting into our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dan Baylis.

My background

My background is in public health research in developing countries – I got my PhD from the University of Southampton, but did all the research for it in Kenya, working with young adults and their understanding of sexual health promotion messages and how these spread through social networks. I then worked in Kenya and Belize for UNDP/UNICEF and Marie Stokes on public health research programmes. I have also spent a number of years lecturing at both the University of Southampton and the Open University. I started at Solent in 2010 as the sole member of the research team, and have watched it grow and flourish over the last eight years into this Academy, which now sits at the centre of our Trust. 

Why I love my job

I have been lucky to work with great and supportive people, who have trusted me to get on and carve out a team that works closely with clinical services on research and improvement projects. I am really passionate about enthusing staff to lead their own changes, work with patients, have some fun whilst learning, and to celebrate the great work that they do.. and I can do that every day. I am immensely proud to be part of a Trust that leads the way for community and mental health organisations in research and quality improvement, to be trailblazing in areas such as our partnership working, our emphasis on impact and our learning. I work with a brilliant, passionate, innovative team, and I enjoy going to work every day.

More about me

I live on the Isle of Wight, with two teenage kids. One of them is learning to drive, and being the passenger is by far the scariest experience of my life. I like the sunshine and the sea, and endlessly try to get fitter and thinner.  My love of spending evenings with friends and family means that to date, this has been spectacularly unsuccessful.

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