CAHPR blog

Within this blog we will share the work of CAHPR hubs, their activities and the people involved in them. 

Keele Hub Update

October 2019


October 14th was national AHP day (, and our Keele CAHPR banner was on prominent display in the School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP) at Keele University, to raise awareness of CAHPR to all our visitors and all our students. This is a very busy time of year, with students having returned to study and new students finding their way around, and our new MSci Physiotherapy getting off the ground (a four year qualifying programme for physiotherapy), alongside ongoing REF preparations and postgraduate student supervision. However, I thought I would use this blog to give a brief overview of some of the exciting and rewarding research-related projects and activities that have been happening in the Keele CAHPR hub in the past week.

Dr Sue Hunter, CAHPR Keele hub lead

Patient and Public Involvement – CAHPR South West

Patient and Public involvement (PPI) is an important component of research. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) define public involvement as ‘research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them’. Drawing from personal experience patients and members of the public help to develop research projects ensuring that they are appropriate and meaningful. As PPI plays a major role within research, it should be considered in all funding applications and throughout the duration of a project.

On Wednesday 3rd July 2019 CAHPR South West hosted a joint event across the region focusing on PPI in research. Sites in Bristol and Cornwall joined together to hear keynote speaker, Dr Jo Welsman, introduce key PPI concepts, discuss frameworks and share advice on PPI in projects. The Cornwall event then facilitated a workshop to discuss various aspects of PPI. The Bristol event had a further three presentations to provide a rounded view Dr Ailie Turton shared ‘The Right Trousers’ project and explained how PPI had shaped the development of an innovative robotics project. The attendees also heard from Sophie Moss on the perspective of a patient partner. Finally, PhD student, Beth Jones, presented on working with patient research partners. The videos of these presentation can be found here.

Silvia Bortoli has recently published a blog titled ‘what do patients and the public think of artificial intelligence helping clinical staff?’ The blog demonstrates PPI in research and can be found here.

CAHPR have also published ten top tips on PPI, these can be found here.

For more information on the latest CAHPR South West activities and events, follow us on twitter (@CAHPRsouthwest) and YouTube (CAHPR South West England). Alternatively, email to receive our newsletters.

Cheshire and Merseyside Hub Update

June 2019


The Cheshire and Merseyside Hub run a bursary competition annually. We were pleased to award Kerry Hanna, this year’s bursary. She is an Orthoptist with an interest in neurological visual impairment and health inequalities. Her research aims to explore the visual care offered in neuro-rehabilitation units in the North West of England to identify potential health inequalities. 

Our hub facilitators are also busy planning our annual research event for Wednesday 9 October. This year we are running an afternoon session at the Countess of Chester Hospital focusing on ‘Next Steps in Research’. This follows on from last year’s event ‘First Steps into Research’. We plan to have talks on about where AHPs can access funding for different levels of research up to PhD and where to find support in applying. This will include AHPs telling their story of applying and being successful at getting funding. Keep an eye out for more details on the hub website or twitter @cahprc_m.

CAHPR North of Scotland hub

May 2019

My name is Lyndsay Alexander and I’m a physiotherapist, lecturer at Robert Gordon University and hub lead for the North of Scotland CAHPR hub.  I’ve been involved in CAHPR locally since the start when it was called the National Physiotherapy Research Network before it evolved into CAHPR.  I got involved with the NPRN/CAHPR as I wanted to support and enable AHPs locally to be research aware and research active using evidence to inform practice.

As a hub we cover a large geographic area and have held successful events in Grampian (with VC access for remote locations), Perthshire and also recently collaborated with South East Scotland and West Scotland hubs to deliver the Scottish CAHPR Symposium in Glasgow. Within the hub, I enjoy organising and delivering AHP research symposia, study days and conferences to allow clinicians to share their work, increase their research knowledge and skills and network to find sources of support for research. 

For AHPs starting in research, CAHPR is a great resource to support and signpost opportunities for research as well as providing opportunities to get clinicians interested in research and active AHP researchers together.  I would recommend all AHPs that are interested in research to become part of their local hub.

More details on the latest CAHPR North of Scotland activities are on the hub website or twitter @cahprnorth

Inspiring AHPs to be research active - CAHPR Surrey and Sussex hub

April 2019


My name is Diane Sellers, a speech and language therapist working at Chailey Clinical Services, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. I am NIHR CAHPR Research Champion for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Clinical Research Network. This is part of a national initiative to encourage AHPs to be research active.

“Research active” might mean:

  • Supporting local recruitment of patients to a research study
  • Working closely with research teams to deliver research locally
  • Conducting research as part of post-graduate training
  • Developing a proposal for NIHR personal training awards
  • Participating as a collaborator or team member in funded research
  • Leading research activity, funded by NIHR or other research funders

We are building a network of AHPs across the UK to learn, share, collaborate and access advice and support. CAHPR strengthens AHP’s research activities, facilitating the translation of research findings into practice and education.

I was inspired to get “research active” from a clinical research question or “gap in the knowledge” identified from an argument with colleagues. That very productive clinical disagreement led to the development of the Eating and Drinking Ability Classification System ( ), an internationally recognised functional classification system for people with cerebral palsy. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and was the basis of my PhD (2014).  

We are going to hold 2 events in Kent, Surrey and Sussex in Autumn 2019 to showcase and celebrate AHP research activity, build new networks and strengthen existing ones.

Please contact me to find out more: .

Building research support in London - CAHPR London hub

March 2019

Recently London CAHPR facilitators met with the three London CAHPR NIHR AHP research champions, Jacky Jones, Rebecca Smith and Jennifer Wenborn. We were lucky enough to have Steve Tolan, London Region at NHS England, join us as well. Our focus was to find ways to work together and create a cohesive approach to supporting research in the London region. Our aim is to identify research-active AHPs, or those interested in being involved in research, in each of the hospital trusts in the region.

A challenge within London is that there are a large number of higher education institutions, many of which have hospitals linked to them. Conversely, there are other trusts without a university and without obvious research support. We hope that, by mapping which trusts are research active and which are less so, we will be able to focus our efforts on those where AHPs are enthusiastic to be a part of a research community, but don’t yet have the links to enable them to do so. Our champions are ambitious, energetic and have a fantastic vision for their roles and are already proving to be an asset to our research network.

Dr Harriet Shannon, CAHPR London Hub co-leader.

CAHPR Regional Hub Forum

February 2019

In the Autumn of 2018 we were both delighted to have been elected as the CAHPR Regional Hub Forum Chair and Vice-Chair for the coming term. At our first meeting as a new team, we welcomed hub leaders to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to discuss the work of the newly appointed CAHPR/NIHR AHP Research Champions, funding allocation and increasing our on-line presence.

There was a collective appetite to continue to support researchers through a competitive conference bursary scheme. This ran successfully in 2018, and there was a consensus that this should continue in the coming year. Watch this space for application deadlines! The Yorkshire hub also run a small project grant scheme that attracts applicants from across the professions. It was felt that this, too, could be taken forward at a national level to give researchers the opportunity to apply for grants to support their research. Further plans will be shared soon.

In the afternoon, we discussed webpages on the CAHPR site for both individual CAHPR hubs as well as introducing a central ‘one stop shop’ with useful links to direct our researchers to various resources. We will be asking for contributions from the hubs in due course.

Finally, we are hoping these regular blog postings will inform researchers of hub and research activities. We would like to thank the hub facilitators for their support and continued engagement with CAHPR, and look forward to seeing everyone again in November (if not before!).

Dr Sue Hunter, Chair, CAHPR Regional Forum and Keele Hub Leader
Dr Harriet Shannon, Vice Chair of Regional Hub Forum and London Hub co-leader


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