Highlighting the important work of AHP research on AHPs Day
Today (14 October) is AHPs Day and as part of the celebrations we are highlighting the essential role Allied Health Professionals play in medical research.
AHPs make up around six per cent of the NHS workforce and over the last year our AHPs at NNUH were involved in more than 170 research studies.
Tracey Fleming, Trust AHP Lead and Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney AHP Council, said: “We know that being at the forefront of research leads to better health outcomes for our patients and our AHPs are playing a key role in leading and supporting research in a range of specialities. AHPs are integral to embedding a culture of research across the organisation and working with our partners across the Norwich Research Park (NRP).”
Radiographers – The biggest area of AHP research is the work of the imaging department, which provides imaging for more than 150 trials at NNUH and across the research park. The imaging research team opened a dedicated office at the Innovation Centre last year and has developed a new AHP research role. Plain film research radiographer Rosanna Stacey is supporting musculoskeletal radiologists in collating data around spinal intervention procedures and imaging research is supporting a growing number of academic posts across musculoskeletal, prostate, and cardiac imaging as well as interventional radiology.
Dietitians – Specialist obesity dietitians Rachel Ball and Kath Paterson delivered the dietary and physical activity components for the international STEP 1 study, which is investigating the effectiveness of an anti-obesity drug.
Dietitian Eliza Tassone is leading a project investigating if there is an association between poor nutritional status and post-stroke falls and/or fractures.
She said: “It’s really exciting to get the opportunity to do this work and contribute to the evidence base. Ultimately I think we should always be trying to improve our practice and patient outcomes so we need to be doing research to inform best practice.
Radiotherapists – The radiotherapy department were involved in 13 research projects last year and have recently opened the PACE C study, which a new treatment trial for patients with intermediate to high risk prostate cancer.
Physiotherapists – Our physios were involved in eight research studies last year. Respiratory Physiotherapist Penny Galey has led the development and evaluation of an intervention for helping adults with Cystic Fibrosis. The ARTISAN research trial also compares physiotherapy treatments for acute rehabilitation following traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation.
Helena Daniell, Practice Development and Research Lead Physiotherapist, said: “Being involved in research keeps you questioning yourself about how and why you make certain clinical decisions on a daily basis, so you know that it is the best decision for the patient. Our academic training gives us these skills, so it is important to put them to use in the clinical setting.”
Podiatrists – Catherine Gooday, Principal Podiatrist at the Diabetic Foot Clinic, is involved in a nationwide trial which is exploring the use of MRI without contrast to monitor patients with Charcot neuroarthropathy, which is a complication of nerve damage associated with diabetes.
Speech and Language Therapists – The SLTs are hoping to join a nationwide project soon to help patients with a new diagnosis of aphasia after having a stroke.