A clinical psychologist by training, Sam started working as a therapist in TalkingSpace Plus in Oxford Health in 2009, soon after qualifying. However, her background in research methodology meant she was quickly invited to get involved in research in her IAPT service.
This was a huge positive for her. ‘I love research. I love looking at what we do and discovering the practical implications, recognising the trends, updating processes. It is the opportunity to do something innovative and make a difference to our everyday working lives and to have an impact on patient experience’.
Career development since 2009 means that Sam is now a member of the service’s senior clinical team, regularly co-ordinating with the Research and Development department. Together they can provide the tools and framework to enable researchers to hit the ground running in their service, as well as ongoing support to ensure things run smoothly.
To anyone considering getting involved in research Sam urges them not to be held back by perceptions of a need to be highly academic. She advises new researchers to choose a topic which is familiar to them and relevant to their own practice. Not only will it provide the opportunity to audit and improve practice locally but it may allow for involvement in trials of innovative ways of delivering therapy.
Sam says ‘it was a huge honour and a very pleasant surprise to find myself nominated and shortlisted for a Health Research Award. Research is part of my everyday role and to have someone say I do it well has been lovely to hear. And of course it brings recognition to TalkingSpace Plus within Oxford Health’. The awards will be made at a ceremony in Reading on 25th September but, whether or not she wins, Sam says she will continue with her involvement in research ‘because it’s essential to my work as a scientist and a practitioner.’
UPDATED the awards were announced at a ceremony in Reading on 25th September:
Samantha Saddler, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust – winner
Exceptional Contribution to a Commercial Study:
Adult Mental Health Research Team, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust – highly commended
Outstanding Research Team Leader:
Claudia Hurducas, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust – highly commended