BMedSci (Speech), MSc
HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellow
I qualified as a speech and language therapist from the University of Sheffield in 2001, and completed a Masters degree in Allied Health Professionals in Clinical Leadership with City University, London in 2011. Until recently, I led a local augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) service in Gloucestershire; part of the adult speech and language therapy team. AAC, or communication aids, are external devices that support people who cannot speak clearly enough to get their message across. In 2014, I secured funding from Health Education England South West to carry out a Clinical Academic Internship with the Bristol Speech and Language Therapy research unit. I used this opportunity to undertake a systematic review of interventions for adults who use AAC, to carry out a service evaluation using qualitative research methods and to build an application for a Health Education England (HEE)/National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Doctoral Fellowship. I started my fellowship in April 2017 and am registered with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and have a work base at Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit (BSLTRU). My project aims to develop a greater understanding about why people do and do not use AAC devices and how they view success with using them. Other areas of research interest include: engaging people with communication difficulties in research advisory roles (patient and public involvement, or PPI), creative research methods, developing clinical academic roles across health organisations and higher educational institutions. I am a Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Research Champion, a CAHPR/NIHR Research Champion, a member of the ResNetSLT (http://resnetslt.blogspot.com/) action group and a founding member of the Twitter group @ClinAcSLT Clinical Excellence Network.
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