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Chief Allied Health Professional's blog

Chief Allied Health Professional's blog

Date of release: 29 August 2023

Latest News: Chief AHP Blog
Spotlight on Our Research ABC Project

By Ros Leslie

Ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of research that meets the eligibility criteria for the Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio is its overall remit.

The purpose of the CRN West Midlands’ Improvement and Innovation Strategic Funding, specifically, is to deliver collaborative projects that address the region’s key strategic issues. This relates to increasing research capacity and capability and includes piloting new ways of working and innovations that can be scaled up and implemented more widely.

As a result of a successful Improvement and Innovation Strategic Funding bid, research in the Black Country is to receive a boost from an innovative project, led by RWT. This link gives you full details of the CRN Portfolio and the project can be found at NIHR - New focus on research opportunities for Allied Health Professionals

Led by Dr Ali Aries, Allied Health Professional (AHP) Research Lead at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT), the overall aim of this eight-month project is to measure current research capacity and capability across the Black Country AHP workforce and then build on this to create a research-ready and research-active AHP workforce.

The experienced project team began work this month to collect information on the current levels of engagement with research and existing research skills among AHPs.

Latest News: Chief AHP's blog Research ABC

Once the results have been collated, AHPs throughout the region will be offered training, resources, networking opportunities, and support to improve existing research activity. Learning will be shared more widely on completion of the project.

Published in January 2022, Health Education England’s Research and Innovation Strategy for Allied Health Professions directly addresses the need for relevant and appropriately differentiated support and development opportunities to be available to all AHPs. It identifies high level strategic aims for transformational change in AHP research and innovation.

Funding for this project will enable the Black Country Integrated Care System (ICS) to address the four domains within the strategy – capacity, capability, context and culture.

Furthermore, evidence collated during this project will be essential to securing substantive commitment to support ongoing collaborative working between the provider organisations in the ICS, hopefully resulting in dedicated investment for substantive and sustainable resourcing and infrastructure to support ongoing AHP research.

The Chief AHPs and AHP Leads across the Black Country are all very excited about this project, as research-active organisations offer a higher standard of care. Enabling staff to carry out research will ultimately benefit patients, the Trusts and the staff themselves.

The six NHS Trusts involved in the project are:
  • RWT
  • Walsall Healthcare
  • The Dudley Group 
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals 
  • Dudley Integrated Health and Care 
  • Black Country Healthcare Foundation

If there’s something you would like me to highlight in my blogs, please email me at rosalind.leslie@nhs.net

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham