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Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Meet the Team

More information about the forum commitee

Dave Clarke

Forum Chair                 

Dave completed nurse training as an adult nurse in Leicester and worked within critical care. After a short time he converted to children's nursing and was senior clinical nurse in children's intensive care. He subsequently moved into education as a practice educator and later lecturer/practitioner. Dave joined Cardiff University in 2001 and with colleagues he developed the children's clinical simulation laboratory, at the time one of the few dedicated clinical skills laboratories in the UK and has published widely about this initiative.

Dave leads CYP education in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff and he recently completed a PhD in the social sciences. He represents the school at a number of all Wales strategic forums and is proud to be working with the RCN as a committee member. He hope to bring a Welsh perspective to the forum as well as his expertise as an educator and clinician.

Doreen Crawford 

Doreen taught Olympic gymnastics before becoming a registered nurse. During her training a placement on a children’s ward opened her eyes to an avenue of nursing she had not yet considered.

Following the general qualification and a short period of staffing in a general children’s ward she undertook the RSCN training. Following this she worked on surgical, oncology, and HD wards before going to the neonatal unit and doing the ENB 405.

Promotion and progress through the ranks of a busy midlands neonatal unit followed before commencing the challenge of teaching the next generation of children’s nurses at De Montfort University, in Leicester.

Doreen has amassed a broad range of experience all related to children’s nursing being appointed Consultant Editor of Nursing Children and Young People in January 2010 where she supports the publishing team. 

She regularly reviews nursing books for a variety of publishing houses and has experience of the NMC professional conduct panels.  She has supported the RCN educational accreditation department for a number of years and has held a number of external examiner appointments.

Coral Rees

Coral has been a qualified children's nurse for fifteen years and within this time has worked for a variety of different NHS trusts in both England and Wales. She has a wide range of experience that has encompassed nursing children with an array of medical and surgical conditions in a number of acute care settings. During her initial few years of being qualified she realised that medical paediatrics was what she enjoyed and developed an interest in the extended roles that nurses were starting to perform.

An aspiration to be a nurse practitioner was beginning to develop. A change in her personal circumstances led her to move to Wales and within the first year she was successfully appointed in a development post for an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner within The Children’s Hospital for Wales. During this time, she has completed a BSc in Clinical Practice and an MSc in Advanced Practice whilst clinically becoming competent within her role where she is also a Non Medical Prescriber.  

Coral has just completed a two year part time secondment as an Associate Lecturer at Cardiff University. She is an instructor for Advanced Paediatric Life Support and is passionate about simulation training at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In her spare time she enjoys running and has completed several half marathons as well as the London Marathon in 2014.

Eirlys Thomas

After qualifying as a registered  nurse, Eirlys worked in general intensive care and during this time completed her ENB 100. Following this she was successful in obtaining a sisters post where she gained an interest and passion in working with children and young people. Eirlys Undertook the accelerated RSCN course in 1997. 

Eirlys has worked with children and young people since 1999. Her first substantive post was within paediatric burns services and then within general paediatrics. In 2004 she was successful in obtaining a post as safeguarding lead, and senior nurse for CYP in-patient services. During this period Eirlys undertook an MA in child welfare and applied childhood studies.

In 2008 Eirlys was successful in obtaining a lead nurse post for acute paediatric care. She project managed the relocation of paediatric services to one site in 2009.  

In 2011 Eirlys became Deputy Head of Nursing for children’s services across ABMU Health Board.

Currently Eirlys is Interim Head of Nursing for Neonatal & Children’s services at ABMU Health Board South Wales.

Stephen McKeever

Dr Stephen McKeever is a Senior Lecturer in Children's Nursing in the School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University. Stephen initially trained as adult nurse before completing a conversion course to become a children's nurse in 1997. Since this time his clinical experience has mainly focused on the care of the critically ill child. This experience has been gained in hospitals in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Whilst in Australia, Stephen worked for the New South Wales newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS).

Stephen has an established track record of undertaking and publishing research. Topics of investigation have included neuromonitoring, brain injury, pain/sedation, and engaging nurses in evidence based practice. In 2012, Stephen graduated with a PhD from The University of Melbourne. His doctoral thesis examined electroencephalogram changes occurring in children during anaesthesia. In May 2015, Stephen commenced work on Causes of ATtrition in CHIldrens NursinG (CATCHING) study. This research has delivered valuable insights into why student children’s nurses stay or leave their programmes.

Sarah Neill

Dr Sarah Neill, PhD, PGC Res Deg Sup, PGDE, MSc, BSc(Hons), RGN, RSCN, RNT is an Associate Professor in Children’s Nursing School of Health & Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Northampton.   

Sarah is an academic children’s nurse with over twenty years of experience in higher education. Sarah’s academic life began with a degree in Zoology at Sheffield University during which time she worked as a Nursing Auxiliary (equivalent to Healthcare Assistant today) and fell in love with nursing. Training as an RGN and then RSCN followed. 

Sarah worked in a variety of general children’s wards, a children’s mental health unit and as a paediatric community nurse – the area of practice she loved best. Having undertaken an MSc in Nursing during the latter post, Sarah then moved into education. A part time PGDE and PhD followed and she is now an Associate Professor in Children’s Nursing. 

After 20 years teaching children’s nursing, her work is now focused mostly on child health research.  Her research focuses on the patient experience in child health and children's nursing, with a specific emphasis on parents’ decision making during acute childhood illness and the development of interventions to support parents. Methodologically her expertise is in qualitative research and, within that, grounded theory. Sarah is committed to working collaboratively with children & families in research projects. She believes that interventions will only be effective when developed with the people for whom they are intended. Sarah set up a panel of parents with children under five years for a research project five years ago and now leads this work in collaboration with the lead parents. 

Sarah also acts as Patient and Public Involvement Lead with the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Northampton.

Lorraine Tinker


Professional Lead: Fiona Smith

Freya McFadden

Page last updated - 20/05/2019