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Dr Karen Cleaver

Karen Cleaver RGN, RSCN, BEd Hons, MSc, PhD

Dr Karen Cleaver

Karen Cleaver
RGN, RSCN, BEd Hons, MSc, PhD

Head of Department

Department of Family Care & Mental Health

Faculty of Education & Health

Dr Karen Cleaver is Head of Department of Family Care & Mental Health at the University of Greenwich.

In her current post since 2002, she has been a member of the department and a part of the faculty senior executive/management team. Karen has extensive experience in curriculum design and development, with involvement across the university in curriculum reviews and approvals, bringing experience as a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject reviewer. 

Karen's teaching interest is primarily focused on the health and well-being of children and young people. Karen's clinical background is children's accident and emergency care, with her ongoing research interest still focusing on this field of practice, having joint edited a book entitled 'Emergency Care of Children and Young People'.

Karen is the lead academic in the ongoing development of three Community Education Provider Networks (CEPNs) in South East London (Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley) and is also the Director of the Institute of Integrate Care, a ground breaking development in collaboration with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.

Posts held previously:

  • 1997-2002, Subject Group Leader, University of Greenwich
    Women and child health; professional lead on children's nursing; a member of senior school management, providing leadership in children's nursing and overseeing the management of staff across the disciplines of midwifery, children's nursing and child health
  • 1991-97, Specialism Leader/Head of Division, Children's Nursing, University of Greenwich
  • 1991-93, Course Leader, Child Health, Thames College of Health Care StudiesOverseeing the development of courses within child health, and leadership of the undergraduate re-registration children's nursing programmes
  • 1990-91, Lecturer, Children's Nursing, Thames College of Health Care Studies
  • 1988-90, Seconded full-time by Greenwich Health Authority to undertake BEd Hons
  • 1987-88, Unqualified Nurse Teacher, Brook Hospital, School of Nursing, Greenwich HA
  • 1985-87, Sister, Paediatric A&E, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital for Sick Children, Hackney, London
  • 1983-85, Staff Nurse, Paediatric A&E, Guy's Hospital, London
  • 1981-83, Staff Nurse, Adult Medicine, Kings College Hospital, London
  • Head of Department of Family Care & Mental Health
  • September 2014, South London Membership Council Innovation Awards-Multi-agency response to domestic abuse: Developing the full workforce. A collaborative project with Metropolitan Police, South Area Delivery Team
  • October 2013, Health Education South London (HESL) and Health Innovation Network South London (HINSL): South London Membership Council Innovation Awards – Excellence in Healthcare Education: Maritime City, for developing an educational tool for dementia training
  • Reviewer: Journal of Advanced Nursing
  • Member of Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley Community Education Provider Networks (CEPN) in South East London Delivery Board, 2014-present
  • Member of Health Education South London (HESL), 2014-present
  • Member CEPN steering group, 2014-present
  • External Examiner for MSc Maternal and Child Health, Kingston University and St George's, University of London, 2012-14

Karen's research interests are mainly concerned with the health and well-being of young people. Her PhD applied a mixed methods design to examine the emergency care of young people who self-harm and the social processes that underpin this aspect of emergency care work. Self-harm in young people and accident and emergency care of children and young people remains Karen's primary area of research interest, and she is currently working with 'Volunteer Greenwich' to establish a young person's advisory group.

Karen is also working on a project with the Metropolitan Police South Area Delivery Team, looking at best practice in multi-agency working and domestic abuse. She has also led on the development of 'Maritime City' an approach to teaching and learning using low fidelity simulation through the development of 'serious games', in the field of dementia and safeguarding children and young people.

Funded research projects

  • 2009-11, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)/Technology Strategy Board (TSB): Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Metro Centre, Greenwich 
  • 2010-11, NHS Greenwich: Abbey Wood Infant Feeding Study
  • 2010-11, Research Assessment Exercise, Internal funding: Health and Well-being in LGBT Young People 
  • 2002-04, Department of Health funding: Evaluation of Lambeth and North Southwark Education Link Advisory Project

Ravenna, J. and Cleaver, K. (2016). School nurses' experiences of managing young people with mental health problems: A scoping review. The Journal of School Nursing, 32(1), pp. 58-70.

Lovell, H. and Cleaver, K. (2015). The needs of young carers and the role of the school nurse. British Journal of School Nursing, 10(9), pp. 441-445.

Cleaver, K., Meerabeau, L. and Maras, P. (2014). Attitudes towards young people who self‐harm: age, an influencing factor. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(12), pp. 2884-2896.

Cleaver, K. (2014). Attitudes of emergency care staff towards young people who self-harm: A scoping review. International emergency nursing, 22(1), pp. 52-61.

Campbell, N., Cleaver, K. and Davies, N. (2014). Oral sucrose as analgesia for neonates: How effective and safe is the sweet solution? A review of the literature. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 20(6), pp. 274-282.

Cleaver, K., Omolade, S., Ussher, G. and Marks Maran, D. (2013). Knowledge transfer partnerships: a case study. British Journal of Healthcare Management, 19, pp. 488-496.

Cleaver, K. and Webb, J. (2007). Setting the Scene: The Context of Emergency Care for Children. In: K. Cleaver, and J. Webb, eds., Emergency care of children: an evidence based approach. Hoboken: Blackwell Science.

Cleaver, K. (2007). Characteristics and trends of self-harming behaviours in young people. British Journal of Nursing, 16(3), pp. 148-153.

Cleaver, K. and Rich, A. (2005). Sexual health promotion: the barriers school nurses face. Community Practitioner, 78(12) 429-432.

Cleaver, K. (2003). Developing expertise: the contribution of paediatric accident & emergency nurses to the care of children, and the implications for their continuing professional development. Accident & Emergency Nursing, 11(2), pp. 96-102.

Cleaver, K. (2003). Career Progression for Children's Accident & Emergency Nurses. Paediatric Nursing, 15(7), pp. 38-41.

Browse our publications database

Cleaver, K. (2013). Young people who self-harm: Unpopular Patients? British Sociological Association MEDSOC Conference. University of York. 

Cleaver, K. (2010). The emergency care of young people aged 12-18 years of age, who self-harm: some preliminary findings. South London Healthcare Trust Research Day. 

Cleaver, K. (2009). Young people and self-harm: listening to the views of young people. SECSHA Safeguarding Conference. Medway. 

Cleaver, K. (2009). The emergency care of young people aged 12-18 years of age, who self-harm. Back to the future: A celebration of 25 years of children and young people's nursing, RCN Conference. Liverpool. 

Cleaver, K. (2008). Emergency care of Young People who self-harm. ACAMH Conference. London.

Browse our publications database