Photograph of Beverley Lowe

Beverley Lowe
R&D Senior Officer

  Beverley has been working for the Trust since 2003 and started her career in the Trust as the Research Governance Administrator.  She is a founder member of the R&D Team and worked alongside the Trust's Clinical Governance Team, actively involved in service reviews with staff and service users, assisting with the audit programme, presenting the team at induction and facilitating research awareness/training sessions.

She was responsible for initial set up of the Research Governance requirements for the Trust, as well as being secretary to the Trust's Research Governance Committee.

Beverley has a BSc (Hons) in Health & Sports Studies as well as a BTEC Certificate in Business & Finance.

Beverley’s role is to manage the research permission process for all portfolio and non-portfolio projects in the Trust. She is also responsible for monitoring studies, study amendments and monthly reporting of active studies to the Trust Services. She also manages all research passports, letters of access and honorary research projects for the Trust.

She is the first point of contact for all researchers and can assist with research queries, as well as the NHS ethics and Trust R&D application process.

Katie Helm Photograph

Katie Helm
R&D Facilitator

  Katie began working for the Trust in 2011 having previously worked for a private clinical drug trials company as a Research Scientist and clinical trials study coordinator. 

With a background in Psychology, graduating from UCLan with an upper second class BSc (Hons) in 2008, Katie began her research career coordinating clinical drug trials in Dementia and Alzheimer’s and attending international research conferences for pharmaceutical development. 

Having made the move to NHS research, she began coordinating the Trust research portfolio and recruitment strategies, including research promotion to Trust staff, facilitation of recruitment set up for researchers working with the Trust services and liaison with the research topic networks in order to expand the Trust research portfolio.

Katie holds responsibility for the Trust performance to recruitment time and target and also manages the internal audit of the Trust clinical investigation trials.

Dr Heather Iles-Smith

Dr Heather Iles-Smith
Research & Innovation Lead

  Heather joined Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust as the Research and Innovation Lead in April 2013. Her role encompasses research governance, capacity building and strategic direction of the research and innovation services.

A passion for research has led to Heather establishing over 20 years’ experience of conducting, coordinating and managing clinical research.  Having worked at Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust from 1996 to 2013 in clinical roles such as a research nurse and in managerial positions including a Research Coordinator, Research Team Leader and Lead Research Practitioner, she has developed a breadth of research knowledge and experience. In particular she has extensive expertise in developing research services, of research governance and of working with Commercial sponsors by promoting good working relationships with industry.

Through a keen interest in education Heather worked part time as a Teaching Fellow from 2011 to 2013 on the Undergraduate Nursing programme at the University of Manchester. This was an excellent opportunity to help strengthen the relationship between clinical practice, research and education. Heather is a strong supporter of developing individuals and service capability to prepare the NHS for the challenges ahead and in this respect is committed to building research and innovation capacity.

Additionally, Heather has a strong research interest as both a Principle Investigator for portfolio studies and conducting her own research. In October 2001 she gained an MSc in Research and in 2006 won a scholarship from the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, the University of Manchester to study a PhD. She successfully completed her PhD in March 2012.
Heathers research interests include the psychological health of patients with physical illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. This also includes an interest in rehabilitation and recovery, illness beliefs and locus of control. She has successfully been awarded a number of competitive grants, is a published author and a reviewer of a number of peer review healthcare journals. Additionally she is an experienced presenter in a number of arenas including as an invited speaker both nationally and internationally.

If you would like to contact Heather please email or telephone 07507 847609 or contact the Research and Development team on 01772 773498

Photograph of Andrea Houlding

Andrea Houlding
R&D Secretary


Andrea joined the Trust in 2008 as the Research & Development Secretary  having previously worked as a PA in a private Property & Investment Company. 

She primarily worked on the Helper (Healthy Living & Prevention of Early Relapse) study as Trial Administrator.  She has currently taken on the role of administrator for the SuperEDEN study.  Her main role within the department is to support  the team on a day to day basis.

Andrea has a recently completed a course in Child Psychology and HNC in Business & Personnel.


The main aims of the R&D department in the Trust are to:

  • Govern research projects i.e. making sure all projects have the correct approvals/permissions (ethics and trust) before starting, are feasible to take place in the Trust and will benefit the Trust
  • Provide advice to researchers both external and internal to the Trust.  With regards to submitting for Trust permission or any other queries regarding submission and ethics 
  • Increase the amount of research projects carried out in the Trust by actively approaching the local research networks and the research national portfolio database to assess if we are able to become a research site. This provides our services with an opportunity to take part in a wider range of national high quality research, which can make a positive difference to their service users and carers
  • Increase the number of participants into research studies making sure that every service user and carer has the opportunity to take part in research in the Trust. We are doing this by promoting the benefits and importance of research to the services so they will assist with the recruitment into studies
  • Reducing permission times for projects making it easier for researchers to carryout research in the Trust and therefore attracting high quality research from industry and across the country
  • Increase the amount of funding grant applications that are submitted for research funding and assisting Trust researchers with this process

The Trust participates in portfolio research (i.e. high quality, competitively funded research) and student research only. All other types of research must be discussed with the R&D Manager and Medical Director beforehand.

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