NIHR sets five strategic goals for AHPs to blaze a trail in research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has published five strategic goals for allied health professionals to ‘blaze a trail’ in research.


The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Allied Health Professions (AHPs) Strategy 2018-2020, published last month (March), aims to get AHPs more involved in both clinical and academic research. It focuses on leadership, research capacity and capability, patient and public access to research, innovation and building strong partnerships.

Anthea Mould, NIHR CRN head of AHPs, said: ‘We want AHPs to blaze a trail in research, develop as visible leaders and strengthen their impact across the health and research system.

‘Whether it’s a two-minute chat with a patient about research opportunities, or supporting the delivery of someone else’s research, these activities are just as valuable as leading your own research study.’

The strategy was warmly welcomed by Ann Moore, director of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research, as impetus for physiotherapists to become more engaged in research.

‘Physiotherapists are becoming increasingly involved in research in clinical practice as well as in academic settings or a combination of both,’ said the professor of physiotherapy at the University of Brighton.

‘This strategy sets out clearly the goals for all AHPs. As the biggest profession in the AHPs, it provides some important goals and messages for us, in terms of engaging in research. But also for our patients and their involvement in research, particularly to capture patient benefits from our professional approaches.’

Professor Moore added that the strategy would help to facilitate AHPs in getting involved in or leading on well-grounded research projects in the workplace.

‘Goal 1 of the new strategy focuses on leadership in research and this is key to underpinning all the above. The council is very much looking forward to ongoing partnership working with the NIHR CRN in support of this innovative and stimulating strategy development,’ she said.

The five strategic goals

Goal 1: Increase the visibility of AHPs as leaders across all research settingsDevelop effective leadership by AHPs in support of research, including building awareness, demonstrating innovation and promoting and sharing best practice

Goal 2: Strengthen AHP research capacity & capability Promote the development of an AHP research workforce that is fit for future challenges within research and maximises the potential of AHPs for patient benefit.

Goal 3: Support AHPs to deliver research that is relevant to patients and publicAHPs are supported to be research active and instrumental in facilitating patient and public access to relevant research, along with playing an active part in supporting the development of appropriate research questions.

Goal 4: Support AHPs to embrace innovation in their research roles AHPs are supported to actively seek opportunities to drive areas of innovation in research challenges, such as new ways of working and digital technology.

Goal 5: Build strong AHP partnerships that deliver visible research impact The NIHR CRN works in partnership across and outside the NIHR to maximise the impact of AHP research activity.


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