Philip Mumberson is a Speech and Language Therapist at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
As part of the Adult Speech and Language Therapy Team, he sees patients in the community across Halton borough.
Philip is the first Bridgewater employee to be enrolled on the NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme Internship Scheme and is part of the current 2017/18 cohort.
Did you have any previous experience of research?
Not really before I started on the internship.
Academically, I completed a master’s degree to qualify as a speech and language therapist at the University of Sheffield in 2015 and then started work with Bridgewater in my current job.
However, I liked the idea of having a research element to my role and started to search for opportunities that would allow me to pursue this. That’s when I found the NIHR internship online and decided to apply.
How does it work?
After submitting my application, I was offered a place in summer 2017 and started with a two-day residential in mid-September. Over the duration of the course, I am getting a “Clinical Academic Research Experience” with supervision and research mentorship for 30 days. There is also an “Educational Learning Package” comprising four days of face-to-face learning and the equivalent of four days online learning.
I tend to do my regular job Monday to Wednesday and work on the internship some Thursdays and Fridays.
What support are you given?
You are given an introduction to the clinical academic research environment and research skills. Further support is given by an expert clinical academic mentor.
Mine is Dr Paul Conroy from the University of Manchester.
He was recommended to me and has been great. We meet face-to-face and keep in touch by email as well.
What does the project involve?
I am looking at how hearing loss impacts on communication recovery following a stroke, firstly by reviewing the literature available.
It is a practical topic for me, as it ties in with some of the work that I do on a day-to-day basis.
What are you gaining from the internship?
I saw it as an opportunity for development and it is definitely proving to be so.
The scheme is like a taster; it gives you an impression of what working in research would be like and it has certainly made me see the benefits of doing research as part of the clinical role.
It has reinforced what I already thought; that research is vitally important because it benefits the patients and the profession. I would definitely like to do more research in the future.
Has your Trust been supportive?
When I asked about the prospect of going on the internship, everybody was really positive.
The trust is receiving the funding to allow me to do it, but ultimately they have to allow me the time out of my schedule to actually complete it – and they have been very supportive with that, both my manager and my team.
The Integrated Clinical Academic Programme Internship Scheme for the North region is coordinated by Sheffield Hallam University.