BGS Rising Star Award for Research 2019: Katie Robinson
This year’s BGS Rising Star Award for Research has been awarded to Dr Katie Robinson. Katie is a physiotherapist and the AHP Clinical Academic Lead at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Here she discusses her work and the importance of research skills for non-medical professionals.
When I finished my undergraduate physiotherapy degree I wouldn’t have predicted that a research career was ahead of me! As a newly qualified physiotherapist I began to realise that I had many unanswered questions. I was frustrated that many of the research papers I read excluded the patient groups I was seeing, and often, I couldn’t see how to apply the evidence of the research I was reading to a real life situation.
I dipped my toe in the research world as part of my physiotherapy job and loved it! I then went on to undertake a National Institute of Health Research funded Masters in Research Methods which was a great grounding for understanding research across healthcare. Since then I have worked on a range of therapy focused research projects and completed a PhD in exercise for older people in 2017, funded by CLAHRC East Midlands.
I strive to make sure the research I am involved with matters to older people and their families and that it can have real world clinical impact. I have a specialist interest in physical activity and falls management for older people and have recently led the development of a set of training resources for care home staff in the management of falls (www.reactto.co.uk). I have recently applied for NIHR fellowship funding to support my clinical academic development and continue to develop my programme of research in the implementation of falls management in care homes to ensure the best outcomes for care home residents and staff.
I have worked on the Falls in Care Homes research study led by Professor Pip Logan which is the largest UK care home trial to date. My wider research includes collaborating with colleagues across the UK and Brazil on exploring the management of frailty in primary care and how we can learn across different countries and settings, co-investigator on the management of non-weight bearing patients after fracture funded through the Management of Complex Older People theme of Nottingham BRC and I am leading the clinical delivery of a hip fracture rehabilitation intervention at the Nottingham site as part of the Femur III study.
I have had excellent support and mentorship from clinicians and academics from a range of disciplines. Professor Tash Masud has been instrumental in supporting my clinical academic career as a non-medical professional and linking me with the great support, education and opportunities offered by the British Geriatrics Society. I have attended national and local British Geriatric Society events with support from the BGS therapy study grant and these opportunities have provided invaluable learning and networking opportunities.
I am passionate about developing clinical academic careers and research skills for non-medical professionals, recognising the importance of clinical academics in translating research into routine clinical practice. I have been fortunate to have many great opportunities as part of clinical academic career and am currently the NIHR Research Champion for the East Midlands helping to develop research awareness and skill for allied health professionals. I currently work as the AHP Clinical Academic Lead at Nottingham University Hospitals which will raise the profile of AHP research in a large acute trust. Allied health professionals need to develop evidence that is meaningful to our professions and the older people we work with, and we are the best people to do this!
The Rising Star Award was inaugurated in 2014 to recognise young doctors, nurses and AHPs who have made exceptional contributions to the field of older people's health care, early in their career. Two awards are available each year; one for research contributions that have translated into, or are in the process of being translated into, improvements to the care of older people, and the other for a clinical quality project which improves the care of older people with frailty in the award holder's locality.