CAHPR blog

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

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