Research Assistant (Children and Young People Safewards)

London (Greater) (GB)
£36,614 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
14 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
27 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time


NHS England/Improvement has commissioned a service improvement project to reduce restrictive practices on wards for children and young people with mental health difficulties and/or autism. Safewards is a model that explains patient conflict behaviours and staff containment behaviours and a set of 10 interventions, when tested in randomised control trial, significantly reduced conflict and containment. Safewards was developed and tested by a team of mental health nurse researchers at King’s College London.  

Since its first dissemination in 2014, Safewards has been recognised as an effective strategy for staff to change the culture in which they work to one that is less restrictive. Safewards is now being implemented in a range of mental healthcare and other settings across the world, including Child and Adolescent Services.  

The CAMHS Safewards Project is supporting 20 children and young people (CYP) inpatient wards to introduce Safewards over an 18-month programme. The first 12 months involve an intensive implementation programme led by a Clinical Supervisor and four project workers, followed by a six-month package of support to embed practice and culture change. We are evaluating staff and project workers’ experiences and the processes and outcomes of implementation.  

We are looking for a research assistant (RA) to undertake the process evaluation of the project, under the supervision of Professor Simpson. They will collate, input, check and analyse data from the participating sites and staff, recruit staff for interviews and undertake remote qualitative interviews, and conduct qualitative analysis. They will draft reports, presentations, and paper(s) for publication. There may also be opportunities for further development opportunities on other research projects.  

All preparations for the evaluation have been completed. This post is to provide maternity cover and is offered on a fixed-term contract for 7 months. 

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 7 months 

This is a part-time post – 50% full time equivalent


Key responsibilities

  • Regularly communicate with the Professor, Clinical Supervisor and team  

  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with staff in participating organisations 

  • Develop and execute a plan of work for obtaining evaluation data from 20 CYP units 

  • Remotely recruit staff for interviews and conduct remote qualitative interviews 

  • Conduct qualitative data analysis and help interpret findings 

  • Collate, input, check and analyse other data for evaluation from sites 

  • Draft reports, presentations and papers for publication and dissemination 

  • Organise and facilitate remote meetings with lived experience and professional advisors and team members as required 

  • Ensure research ethics and governance requirements are adhered to and project documentation is organized and maintained to a good standard 

  • Contribute to other projects as required 

Essential criteria  

  1. First degree in relevant discipline, e.g., nursing, psychology, social science 
  2. Knowledge and understanding of Safewards 
  3. Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships and good communication skills in person, by phone, on email and online 
  4. Experience of organizing and executing a complex plan of work to timescale 
  5. Experience of recruiting participants to research studies 
  6. Confident conducting remote qualitative research interviews 
  7. Confident undertaking qualitative data analysis 
  8. Confident using MS Outlook, MS Word, MS Excel, NVivo and willing to use MS Teams and/or Zoom for work 
  9. An understanding of ethical requirements when conducting health services research 
  10. Experience of following an agreed plan of work and able to take initiative when required 

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience of co-production 
  2. Experience of writing for publication 
  3. Work or lived experience of child and adolescent mental health services