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Case study: South London physiotherapist urges NHS workers to get involved in NIHR research

Gemma Stanford's path in research.

A physiotherapist is urging her NHS colleagues to consider a career in the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to tackle life’s mysteries.

The NIHR funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.

Gemma Stanford is a Highly Specialist Physiotherapist in Adult Cystic Fibrosis at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. She recently completed an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship.

Her message as part of the NIHR’s Your Path in Research campaign is for people to take the plunge. She said:

“I am passionate about answering the annoying questions that come up through discussions with patients and colleagues in our day-to-day clinical work. We need to answer these questions to improve care, and research is how we do it. Why do we do this? What is the best way to do that?

“We need research to give us insight into important questions for our patients, such as what treatments are effective (or not), and we can use research to tailor our services so they are the best they can be.

“My message to people regarding research is to get involved! Research is not scary. It is an essential and integral part of clinical practice. Most healthcare professionals are already research-active, although they may not quite realise it. By becoming more research active, you get to start to answer the questions you have, for yourself, which is rewarding.”

The NIHR’s Your Path in Research campaign highlights how people can make research part of their career. Find out more on the NIHR’s website.