Ishtaah Persand

ishataah photo

Mental Health Research Nurse and Research Champion Lead, South London and Maudsley  

I promote research to colleagues at the Trust and help them to be more aware of research opportunities which they can share with service users, as the Research Champion Lead. 

What was your path into research? 

I studied Psychology at university, then worked in a range of clinical roles, before completing a Masters in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and then qualifying as a Mental Health Nurse. Around this time, I began to bring together my clinical and research interests in various roles across South London and Maudsley.  

I have been in my current role as a Mental Health Research Nurse since February 2023. It has been great, and it feels like a natural fit for my skill set. I am receiving support from my team to build on existing research skills and gain new skills. I am progressing towards my lifelong ambition of becoming a clinical academic practitioner. And improving healthcare services for service users. 

What is your working day like? 

I work with colleagues on clinical trials (including commercial research trials and portfolio studies). Our goal is to work towards becoming a catalyst for change. I want colleagues to feel proud that we are a leader among NHS Trusts for research. 

I promote research to colleagues at the Trust, and help them to be more aware of research opportunities which they can share with service users.  I want everyone to get on board and become more research-aware and research active. This can be difficult because the word ‘research’ is such a broad term  and my colleagues sometimes feel it’s not for them or have concerns about it. These concerns fall away on further discussion, as we describe ways to get involved. 

What does research mean to you?   

Research is at the forefront of everything. It has impacted all our lives in so many ways. For example, it has given us healthcare developments across hospitals and has helped to improve services. 

I am a champion for the Trust’s research ambitions: I want to ensure we are a prominent, leading voice in the conversation about improving our nation’s mental health.