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

Professor of Integrated Care

Professor Karen Cleaver is  Head of the School of Health Sciences a role she assumed in September 2019.  Prior to this Karen was Head of Department Family Care and Mental Health and between 2014 -2018 she was also Director of the Institute of Integrated Care, a collaboration between Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust & the University of Greenwich. Karen has extensive experience in higher education and has held a number of leadership roles and has been both a QAA and PSRB subject reviewer. She has considerable expertise in nursing workforce planning and development. In 2018 she completed a study funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing which explored older nurses’ decision making around timing of retirement.

As Head of School Karen is responsible for, among other things, leading the strategic development and delivery of academic healthcare programmes  within the School. These include PSRB regulated pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health courses, as well as NHS workforce development programmes, including Advanced Clinical Practice.  Through her wide networks, Karen also fosters and leads on research and enterprise activities working with a range of statutory and non-statutory organisations.

Posts held previously

2014 – 2018, Director of Institute of Integrated Care. Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust & Faculty of Education & Health
2002 - 2012, Head of Department, Family Care & Mental Health, School of Health & Social Care. University of Greenwich
1997 - 2002, Subject Group Leader, Women & Child Health, University of Greenwich  
1993 - 1997, Specialism Leader, Children's Nursing, University of Greenwich
1991 - 1993, Programme Leader, Children's Nursing and Health, Thames College of Health Care Studies
1990 - 1991, Lecturer, Children's Nursing, Thames College of Health Care Studies
1988 - 1990, Seconded full-time by Greenwich Health Authority to undertake B. Ed (Hons)
1987 - 1988, Unqualified Nurse Teacher, Brook Hospital, School of Nursing, Greenwich Health Authority
1985 - 1987, Sister, Paediatric A&E, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital for Sick Children, Hackney, London
1983 - 1985, Staff Nurse, Paediatric A&E, Guy's Hospital, London
1981 - 1983, Staff Nurse, Adult Medicine, Kings College Hospital, London

Responsibilities within the university

  • Head of School of Health Sciences


  • July 2020, VC Scholarship (2020 – 2023) Using a mixed methods approach the Scholar will undertake an investigation into young peoples’ risk factors for engagement in ‘county lines’ and the responses of statutory agencies within two London Boroughs.
  • December 2019, Outstanding achievement in enterprise, recognising a meritorious activity or award, significant in income value, prestige or possible impact, measured in terms of external recognition for ongoing work with the Metropolitan Police on diverse areas including domestic abuse, gang culture and county lines.
  • 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


  • Honorary Fellow, Public Health England.
  • Peer reviewer for a range of journals including: International Journal of Nursing  Studies; Journal of Advanced Nursing; Journal of Clinical Nursing; The Journal of School Nursing.
  • Joint Chair of HEE (London) Midwifery placement expansion project.
  • Member of London Higher Healthcare Education Group

Research / Scholarly interests

In 2012 Karen completed her doctorate which examined attitudes held by nurses, doctors and paramedics towards young people who self-harm and the social processes within emergency care that influenced these attitudes. Karen continues to study areas of societal concern and has worked with a range of partners, including the Metropolitan police (South London Area Delivery Team) leading a review of best practice in early intervention in domestic abuse.  Latterly Karen has led a project exploring county line drug networks, resulting in the development of a highly successful awareness raising training package. Karen is continuing work in this area and has recently been successful in securing a VC scholarship to enable further study into county lines and risk factors for young peoples’ involvement.

Key funded 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

Recent publications


Cleaver, Karen , Don, Caroline, Chojnacka, Irena, Essex, Ryan , Weldon, Sharon Marie , Markowski, Marianne (2022), A systematic scoping review of Undergraduate Nursing Hub and spoke placement models. MA Healthcare Limited. In: , , , . MA Healthcare Limited, British Journal of Nursing ISSN: 0966-0461 (Print), 2052-2819 (Online) (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Cleaver, Karen , Essex, Ryan, Narramore, Naomi, Shekede, Heather , Malamateniou, Christina , Weldon, Sharon Marie (2022), “A much kinder introduction”: exploring the benefits and challenges of paediatric simulation as a transitioning tool prior to clinical practice. Adi Health and Wellness. In: , , , . Adi Health and Wellness, International Journal of Healthcare Simulation 2754-4524 (Online) (doi: https:/

Essex, Ryan , Weldon, Sharon Marie, Markowski, Marianne, Gurnett, Philip , Slee, Robin , Cleaver, Karen , Stiell, Marlon , Jagodzinski, Lee (2022), A systematic mapping literature review of ethics in healthcare simulation and its feasibility. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 73 . pp. 48-58 ISSN: 1876-1399 (Print), (doi:

Epps, Beth , Markowski, Marianne, Cleaver, Karen (2021), A rapid review and narrative synthesis of the consequences of non-inclusive sex education in UK schools on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and questioning young people. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, The Journal of School Nursing ISSN: 1059-8405 (Print), 1546-8364 (Online) (doi:

Stogiannos, N. , Harvey–Lloyd, J.M., Nugent, B., Brammer, A. , Carlier, S. , Cleaver, K. , McNulty, J.P. , Sá dos Reis, C. , Malamateniou, C. (2021), Autism-friendly MRI: improving radiography practice in the UK, a survey of radiographer practitioners. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Radiography, 28 (1) . pp. 133-141 ISSN: 1078-8174 (Print), 1532-2831 (Online) (doi:

Cleaver, Karen , Markowski, Marianne, Wels, Jacques (2021), Factors influencing older nurses’ decision-making around the timing of retirement: an explorative mixed method study. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Journal of Nursing Management ISSN: 0966-0429 (Print), 1365-2834 (Online) (doi:

Cleaver, Karen , Essex, Ryan, Malamateniou, Christina, Narramore, Naomi , Shekede, Heather , Vargo, Elisabeth Julie , Weldon, Sharon Marie (2021), A systematic scoping review and textual narrative synthesis of undergraduate paediatric nursing simulations: what, why and how?. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 53 . pp. 10-31 ISSN: 1876-1399 (Print), (doi:

Bonning, John and , Cleaver, Karen (2020), ‘There is no “war on drugs”’: An investigation into county line drug networks from the perspective of a London borough. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 94 (4) . pp. 443-461 ISSN: 0032-258X (Print), 1740-5599 (Online) (doi:

Markowski, Marianne , Cleaver, Karen, Weldon, Sharon Marie (2020), An integrative review of the factors influencing older nurses’ timing of retirement. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 76 (9) . pp. 2266-2285 ISSN: 0309-2402 (Print), 1365-2648 (Online) (doi:

Cleaver, Karen , Maras, Pam, Oram, Charlotte, McCallum, Karen (2019), A review of UK based multi-agency approaches to early intervention in domestic abuse: Lessons to be learnt from existing evaluation studies. Elsevier Masson. In: , , , . Elsevier Masson, Aggression and Violent Behavior, 46 . pp. 140-155 ISSN: 1359-1789 (Print), (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Humphrey, Tara and , Cleaver, Karen (2018), General practitioners’ perceptions on their role in light of the NHS five year forward view: a qualitative study. Taylor & Francis Open. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis Open, London Journal of Primary Care, 10 (3) . pp. 54-58 ISSN: 1757-1472 (Print), 1757-1480 (Online) (doi:

Cleaver, Karen and , Luberda, Kamila (2017), Modifiable factors influencing parental decision making and organ donation: A scoping review. RCN Publishing (RCNi). In: , , , . RCN Publishing (RCNi), Nursing Children and Young People, 29 (9) . pp. 29-36 ISSN: 2046-2336 (Print), 2046-2344 (Online) (doi:

Dawodu, Ade and , Cleaver, Karen (2017), Behavioural correlates of energy drink consumption among adolescents: A review of the literature. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Journal of Child Health Care, 21 (4) . pp. 446-462 ISSN: 1367-4935 (Print), 1741-2889 (Online) (doi:

Cleaver, Karen and , (2017), Accessing young people who self-harm as research participants. SAGE. In: , , , Accessing Young People Who Self-Harm as Research Participants. SAGE, SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2 (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Ravenna, Jean and , Cleaver, Karen (2016), School nurses’ experiences of managing young people with mental health problems: A scoping review. Sage. In: , , , . Sage, The Journal of School Nursing, 32 (1) . pp. 58-70 ISSN: 1059-8405 (Print), 1546-8364 (Online) (doi:

Lovell, Helen and , Cleaver, Karen (2015), The needs of young carers and the role of the school nurse. MA Healthcare Ltd.. In: , , , . MA Healthcare Ltd., British Journal of School Nursing, 10 (9) ISSN: 1752-2803 (Print), (doi:

Conference item

Essex, Ryan , Weldon, Sharon Marie, Markowski, Marianne, Gurnett, Philip , Stiell, Marlon , Jagodzinski, Lee , Slee, Robin , Cleaver, Karen (2022), Reporting on a systematic mapping literature review of ethics in healthcare simulation. In: Health Education Kent Surrey and Sussex Inaugural SimNet Conference, 23rd May 2022, University of Surrey , . , (doi: NB Item availability restricted.