MFT NMAHP Research Strategy Case Studies

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MFT leads the way in developing clinical academic career options for nurses, midwives and AHPs, and offers many opportunities for NMAHPs to develop their research careers whilst remaining in clinical practice. Career progression as a clinical academic at MFT is illustrated below.

Dr Kylie Watson (Consultant Midwife/ Honorary Lecturer)

Kylie Watson – Consultant Midwife and Research Champion for Saint Mary’s Hospital. Her post is a joint appointment with the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Manchester where she is an honorary lecturer.

Kylie trained as a midwife in New Zealand and worked there before coming to the UK in 2002. She has worked in a variety of settings including caring for women at home, in low risk midwifery-led settings and on busy obstetric-led labour wards. She is passionate about midwifery-led care ensuring that every woman has a labour and birth that optimises her potential for experiencing a physiological birth. In 2016 she was awarded a NIHR Clinical Academic Training Doctoral Fellowship and submitted her PhD in 2019. She is developing continuity of carer pathways at Saint Mary’s Hospital and undertaking midwifery-led research on different models of care for vulnerable women.

Click here to hear Kylie talk about her experience of her NIHR Fellowship

Doré Young, Highly Specialised Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, MLCO

Collaboration For Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Research Internship and MFT NMAHP Pre-doctoral Fellowship

Doré’s Internship focused on the ’Psychologically informed management of low back pain and evaluation of physiotherapists attitudes and beliefs.’ Her work highlighted a number of learning needs and barriers to effective implementation. Doré is looking to continue study in this area at PhD level.

Doré said one of the main benefits of the Internship was ‘having a support network of like-minded enthusiasts which was a real inspiration’. This has consolidated her passion for research and a clinical academic career.

Click here to see Doré’s presentation at the MFT NMAHP research conference.


Sam Emery, Research Midwife, Wythenshawe Hospital


My name is Sam Emery. I currently hold a NIHR scholarship for a MClinRes at the University of Manchester. This involves a variety of modules around research practices including, qualitative and quantitative research and managing research in a clinical setting. The masters also involves a dissertation, which is a small qualitative study entitled ‘midwives’ experiences of caring for women with postpartum psychosis’. The masters has taught me a lot about good research practice and how to ensure high quality research is produced. The course has been somewhat challenging, particularly in relation to ethical approvals, but has been a great learning experience.

I am also the research midwife at the Wythenshawe site of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. The masters course provided me with the confidence to apply for the role. Despite being new to a research role, I found the masters provided me with a good foundation of knowledge to build upon. I work as part of the cross-divisional hub. We currently have two collaborative projects on-going with the Oxford Road site- the Tommys Project and the Rainbow Clinic Study. The Tommys Project involves data collection to improve outcomes for women and their babies. The Rainbow Clinic Study aims to evaluate the Rainbow Clinic service, which cares for women in subsequent pregnancies following a still birth. The midwifery research team will be expanding and we plan to complete further collaborative projects with the Oxford Road site. Personally, I aim to complete my masters project, continue to develop my clinical and research skills and look into possible future PhD projects.


Aileen Aherne, Jaundice Clinical Nurse Specialist, MRI

Florence Nightingale Foundation Research Scholarship

Aileen has been successful in obtaining a Florence Nightingale Foundation Research Scholarship 2017-18 which is funding her MSc Nursing Practice dissertation at the University of Salford into ‘quality of life of patient who have had resected klatskin tumours’. Having recently attended a research study day Aileen became aware of the Foundation. Aileen said ‘I’m really overwhelmed that such a prestigious foundation would sponsor me and this now allows me to complete my Masters study.’ The Florence Nightingale Foundation have also offered support and advice regarding publication and conference presentation.


Dr Samantha Jones, Physiotherapist and Trauma/Rehabilitation Co-ordinator, Major Trauma Service, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Prior to the introduction of Research Bridging Fellowships, I attained a 12-month part time research post funded by the Charities Department at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. I completed the research post (part time), alongside my original clinical role as a Major Trauma Co-ordinator (which was reduced to part time hours). The research post enabled me to apply for, and successfully attain a fully funded NIHR Doctoral Fellowship. I also worked with an Orthopaedic Register to publish the following manuscript in the British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Publication: Talbot, C., Davis, N., Majid, I., Young M, Bouamra O, Lecky FE, Jones S. (2018) Fractures of the femoral shaft in children: national epidemiology and treatment trends in England following activation of major trauma networks. Bone and Joint Journal, 100B (1). pp. 109-118.

Fellowship: NIHR Clinical Academic Doctoral Fellowship. NIHR paid Band 7 salary for x 3 years full time, plus the research training & project costs, enabling the NHS to backfill my position.

Planning: The part time research post allowed time for the Major Trauma Team to plan for my transition to the full time NIHR fellowship. From the outset, the Major Trauma Service was lead by 2 Band Seven’s (an AHP and a Nurse), which was necessary to establish a new service. However, at the point of my fellowship, systems had been implemented and the service had been running smoothly for five years. The fellowship provided the Major Trauma Service with an opportunity to restructure the team, so that workload could be distributed more appropriately according to Band/Grade and knowledge could be extended to other staff.

How the team re-structure worked: A Band 6 nurse had been working with the team one day a week just before and during the part time research post. When I started my fellowship, the hours for this Band 6 position were increased over 4 days. The remainder of my salary was used to fund a rotational secondment Band 6 post for either AHP or nurses. During the year I applied for the fellowship I implemented training and systems to enable a hand over of specific tasks to other staff.

Benefit & Outcome of Bridging Fellowship: In summary, the fellowship enabled the Major Trauma Team to expand, with wider knowledge amongst more health professionals of different grades/bands. Therefore, the team became more robust and had a stronger contingency plan for the progression of staff. The Rotational Secondment post enabled AHP’s who form the weekend service to gain a deeper understanding of the service and disseminate training. Previously, the training of staff to deliver a weekend service relied solely on the 2 Band Sevens from the Major Trauma team. The Rotational Secondment post and Band 6 position have increased the awareness of roles within the Major Trauma Service, in addition to the opportunity to experience working with the team. This may improve recruitment rates and result in applicants having more knowledge and experience of this specific service.

Furthermore, I remain an important constituent of the Major Trauma Service. I have used my research expertise to support with audits, service evaluations and development projects. I also offer ad hoc help to support the daily running of the service.

The research outputs which I produce strengthen the reputation and kudos of the Major Trauma Service. In time the doctoral research project will establish RMCH, as the pioneer in developing “Trauma Needs Assessments” and produce evidence to help improve the rehabilitation of patients with Major Trauma injuries.

Dr Helen Hurst, Consultant Nurse, Trafford General Hospital

CLAHRC and MFT Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

I was awarded a MFT postdoctoral senior clinical academic fellowship in 2017 on the first round of applications. I feel very privileged to be awarded a fellowship within my organisation as it reflects the commitment of the Trust to develop and support nurses and AHP’s in research. The funding has allowed me to pursue a Grant application for NIHR on a multicentre study for frailty and CKD. My role as Consultant Nurse is a clinical academic position with 50% of the job dedicated to research activity to enable me to develop and support others in research activity and within the fellowship I hope to support others in their journey to a research active career.