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research and development the peer group

Research and Development

There are often opportunities for people to get involved in Research and Development projects.

CRIS oversight committee - Service user opportunity

This is a role description for service users interested in becoming members of the Oversight Committee of the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system at SWLStG Mental Health NHS Trust.

What is CRIS?

  • CRIS is a technology development that allows authorised users within an NHS Trust to search an anonymised database of clinical information derived from the electronic clinical record system, which in SWLStG Mental Health NHS Trust is Servelec Healthcare’s ‘RiO’ system.
  • CRIS was initially developed at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in 2007. Over the past 10 years it has been adopted by a further 15 Mental Health NHS Trusts under the remit of the ‘UK-CRIS programme’, which is run by Oxford University.
  • CRIS works by creating a database of clinical data from the existing clinical record in which the patient identifiable data (PID) is removed.
    • This is done by an automated process that uses each individual’s PID to find and remove PID from within their record, before deleting the PID entirely.
    • Each record is then given a unique ID number and made available for searching, unless that record has been previously marked as unavailable.

What is the Role of the CRIS Oversight Committee?

  • The CRIS Oversight Committee’s role is to control who uses the CRIS system and for what purpose. Nobody can use the CRIS system without prior authorisation from the CRIS Oversight Committee.
  • The Committee can withdraw access to the CRIS system at any time if it is felt that users are not using it as agreed.
  • The CRIS Oversight Committee also makes decisions about the governance structures surrounding CRIS and about information that is communicated with Trust staff and service users.

Who else will be in the CRIS Oversight Committee?

The Committee will include a senior clinician, a representative from the Trust’s IT department, a representative of the Trust’s Data Protection lead (the Caldicott Guardian), 2 service user representatives and an administrator.

pdf Oversight Committee Service User Role Description (161 KB)


The PEER Group

PEER stands for Peer Expertise in Education and Research. 

We are a group of local people with a lived experience of mental health issues who are interested in becoming actively involved in research at St George’s (University of London) and the Trust. 

The group started in March 2010, meets every 2 months and has a current membership of 23 people.  We receive our funding from the SWLSTG Research and Development Committee and PEER members are paid for their involvement.  The group is co-ordinated and facilitated by Sarah Gibson and Kati Turner with support from Steve Gillard, Reader in Social and Community Mental Health at the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s. 

The purpose of our group is to bring together people from different perspectives – mental health lived experience, carers, academic researchers and mental health professionals - to collaborate and work together in the field of mental health research and education in a variety of ways. The group provides the vital lived experience input into research and evaluation projects and funding bids.  PEER Group members receive support and training in various areas to enable them to undertake the work.

If you would like to know more about the work of the PEER Group – whether you are a clinician, academic, mental health professional, carer or someone with lived experience of mental health issues - contact Kati Turner (