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New website offers remote physio researchers ‘northern exposure’

As an inhabitant of one of the UK’s most northerly islands, Sue Barnard is aware of the need for practitioners who work in remote locations but want to network – and has set up a new website to do just that.

Dr Barnard, a physio by background, migrated 900 miles north, swapping her home in the south of England for one on Orkney.

Her home offers a base during part of the working week, with the remainder being spent at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, where she is a senior lecturer in the school of health sciences.

Along with a university colleague, physiotherapy lecturer Dr Kay Cooper, Dr Barnard is a ‘hub leader’ of a newly-launched website that aims to ‘promote and support best practice in allied health profession (AHP) research’.

She said: ‘Just because we live in remote and rural areas doesn’t mean we can’t contribute to AHP research.’

The new website is known as the North of Scotland ‘hub’ of the Allied Health Professions’ Research Network. With a brief to foster a thriving ‘virtual community’, the hub covers Highland and Grampian, as well Orkney and Shetland.

Dr Barnard is optimistic that it will prove to be a hit with isolated researchers and those who are keen to hear about the latest developments in their field.  ‘Virtual’ lectures, seminars, webinars and forums are all in the offing.

‘Obviously, in this part of the country the distance, time and cost associated with getting to meetings is considerable,’ Dr Barnard notes.

‘Even people on the [Scottish] mainland can travel miles to get to an urban conurbation, and in this economic climate it can be difficult to get time out from work to attend events.’

To find out how to become a North of Scotland hub associate, visit:


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Ian A McMillan

Issue date

2 November 2011

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