AHP Research and Innovation Strategy Northern Ireland

Date published: 13 January 2023

The Department of Health recently launched the Allied Health Professions’ Research and Innovation Strategy for Northern Ireland.

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It was developed to support specialist research and professional development for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in the relevant framework of the HSC in Northern Ireland.

AHPs work in a range of settings including hospitals, people’s homes, clinics, surgeries and schools.

They work in partnership with health and social care colleagues across primary, secondary and social care, as well as in the independent and voluntary sectors.

This strategy – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland - will provide support for development opportunities and careers in research and leadership roles for all AHPs.

It will help AHPs at all stages of their careers to engage in research, helping to break down barriers to research activity and build a stronger research culture.

Maria McIlgorm, Chief Nursing Officer, says the publication of the research and innovation strategy marks the launch of a coordinated and focused campaign to improve opportunities for our AHP professionals and recognises their valuable contribution to improving outcomes for people in NI

“This Strategy directly addresses the need for relevant and appropriately  differentiated support and development opportunities to be available to all AHPs, whatever their discipline, professional association membership, or employment context.

“With an oversight from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, the delivery for this Strategy will be driven forwards in a strong coproduction approach across the AHP associations.”

The full Strategy document is available online via the Department’s website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Allied Health Professionals form one of the largest workforces in health and social care. They include:
  • Art Therapists
  • Dramatherapists
  • Music Therapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Prosthetists and Orthotists
  • Diagnostic Radiographers
  • Therapeutic Radiographers
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Operating Department Practitioners.
  1. Research and innovation are key to ensuring safe evidenced-based practice to support our patients and evolve our services across the whole AHP services. There is a growing body of evidence to show that healthcare organisations that engage in research provide better outcomes for their patients. Therefore, research, development and innovation should be regarded as core activities of any effective healthcare system, with all professionals enabled and empowered to use, participate in or lead research as an integral part of their role.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk.
  3. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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