PG Slots Cassino Driving Research Opportunities For Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) – IHSCM PG Slots CassinoPG Slots Cassino PG Slots Cassino

Driving Research Opportunities For Allied Health Professionals (AHPs)

The Research ABC Project (AHPs Building Capacity Across the Black Country)

By Dr Ali Aries: Allied Health Professions Research Lead, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Louise Wallace:  Clinical Team Leader, Community MSK Assessment and Physiotherapy Service, Dudley Group Foundation Trust, Dr Ros Leslie: Black Country ICS Chief Allied Health Professional and RWT Chief AHP and Research Lead

An innovative project in the Black Country (Research ABC) will assess current research capability and then train and support Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to enhance their knowledge, awareness and confidence in research.

The project, funded by a successful application for a Clinical Research Network West Midlands (CRN WM) improvement and innovation grant, submitted by Dr Ros Leslie (Chief AHP at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust) will enable the Black Country integrated care system (ICS) to address the four domains of Health Education England’s Allied Health Professionals Research and Innovation Strategy for England: capacity, capability, context and culture (Allied Health Professions’ Research and Innovation Strategy for England | Health Education England ( Training and support for AHP research will be funded through the project with an aim of developing staff and facilitating AHP research in the area; systemwide engagement is key to achieving impact across the vision statements in the AHP Research Strategy. Evidence collated during this project will be essential for securing substantive commitment to support ongoing collaborative working between the provider organisations within the Black Country ICS.

The project will run for eight months across the Black Country place-based partnerships (Black Country Healthcare Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust) and will include AHPs employed or hosted by one of these six secondary care organisations.

Led by Dr Ali Aries, AHP Research Lead at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, work began in August 2023 to develop and pilot tools to enable collection of information regarding current levels of engagement in research and existing research skills among AHPs. AHPs consist of a group of professions which includes Podiatrists, Physiotherapists, Dieticians and Paramedics (NHS England » The 14 allied health professions). A questionnaire has been made available to all AHPs in the area (>4000) from the beginning of October, for completion by 31/10/23. Following this benchmarking exercise, AHPs will be offered training, resources and support to help them develop the necessary skills aiming to build capacity for setting up and running research studies throughout the region. Developing networking opportunities is also a key aim of the project.

There is a growing body of evidence that shows research active organisations can offer a higher standard of care (1,2,3,4). Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professional officer England, is quoted in the AHP Research and Innovation Strategy as saying:

Research and innovation is key to ensuring safe evidenced based practice to support the people who access our services. It enables us to make a difference, whether that is creating new knowledge, enhancing services, improving outcomes or developing our people”.

Dr Aries, ABC Project Lead, added: “This support from CRN West Midlands has allowed us to put together an experienced team to help prepare AHPs in taking the next step in their research careers”.

For more information, please, contact the Research ABC project team at:



  1. Downing A, Morris EJ, Corrigan N, Sebag-Montefiore D, Finan PJ, Thomas JD, Chapman M, Hamilton R, Campbell H, Cameron D, Kaplan R, Parmar M, Stephens R, Seymour M, Gregory W & Selby P. (2017). High hospital research participation and improved colorectal cancer survival outcomes: a population-based study. Gut, 66 (1), 89-96.
  2. Jonker L & Fisher SJ. (2018). The correlation between National Health Service Trusts’ clinical trial activity and both mortality rates and care quality commission ratings: a retrospective cross-sectional study. Public Health,157, 1-6.
  3. Jonker L, Fisher SJ & Dagnan D. (2020). Patients admitted to more research-active hospitals have more confidence in staff and are better informed about their condition and medication: Results from a retrospective cross-sectional study. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 26(1) 203-208.
  4. Ozdemir BA, Karthikesalingam A, Sinha S, Poloniecki JD, Hinchliffe RJ, Thompson MM, Gower JD, Boaz A, Holt PJ. (2015). Research Activity and the association with mortality. PLoS One, 10(2), e0118253.

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