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Speech and Language Therapist's research journey

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Dr Philip Mumberson is a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) currently working as the Allied Health Professional (AHP) Lead at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT). BCHFT is a provider of community health services in the north west of England. In 2017, Philip was the first person at the Trust to be enrolled on the NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Internship Scheme; it provided an introduction to the clinical academic research environment as well as research skills. The scheme allowed Philip to develop a project looking at how hearing loss impacts on language assessment following a stroke. This enabled Philip to see the benefits of doing research as part of his clinical role. It reinforced how research is vitally important due to the positive impact for patients and his profession.

Continuing to pursue his path in research, Philip took a break from his role as an SLT to undertake a PhD focusing on a type of speech and language therapy for people with dementia at The University of Sheffield. Here Philip shares why he chose to do a PhD and how it has enhanced his role in the Trust.

“I chose to undertake a PhD for many reasons, including an appreciation of the value of evidence-based healthcare and the importance of research in underpinning this. My PhD looked at a particular type of speech and language therapy for word-finding difficulties associated with dementia. As well as gaining in-depth understanding and carrying out new research on this particular topic, I developed transferable skills too, including project management, data analysis, and written and verbal communication to a range of audiences. I am fortunate to be able to use these skills as a speech and language therapist and as AHP Lead. During my PhD, I also contributed to the education of pre-registration healthcare students leading to me receiving Associate Fellowship of the HEA for learning and teaching in higher education.”

With the full support of the Trust, Philip was able to successfully complete his PhD, and now acts as an advocate for research for colleagues at the Trust. He currently co-chairs the Clinical Audit and Research Steering Group at BCHFT which allows him to be involved in promoting research within the Trust. His experience gained in learning and teaching allows Philip to contribute to AHP education and training at BCHFT. Philip’s future research plans involve continuing to promote the value of research at BCHFT as part of his current role as AHP Lead.