Centre for Applied Research in Improvement and Innovation in Health and Social Care

We conduct transformational research to improve the health and wellbeing of service users and the general population and make a difference to the ways that health and social care is delivered

The work of CApRII seeks to understand experiences of illness, health, disability and disadvantage across the life course through a user-centred, integrated programme of research, service evaluation and needs assessment and consultation.

We focus on the development and evaluation of novel approaches to service delivery, and we investigate innovation in health and social care roles and the ways we deliver education to the health and social care workforce at all levels.

Our expertise

The Centre has expertise in:

Our people

The Centre is led by Professor Jane Wills. There are four research group leads who provide hubs within the School of Health and Social Care for the development of staff in research interests and capability. Through its close links with health and social care, the Centre attracts several visiting clinical researchers.

  • Dr Anita Atwal
  • Dr Chris Flood
  • Prof. Mick Thacker
  • Prof. Ben Thomas

Visiting researchers

  • Prof. Paul Fish, Royal National Orthopedic Hospital
  • Prof. Faith Gibson, University of Surrey
  • Dr. Jane McCarthy, University of Auckland
  • Dr Roger Newham, University of Birmingham
  • Prof. Nicola Robinson [emeritus]
  • Prof. Brian Taylor, Ulster University
  • Prof. David Wareing,  University College London Hospitals

Collaborations and partnerships

CApRII works with a range of national and international academic partners through multi-centre research projects e.g. the intensive care national audit and research centre (ICNARC), the ASSIST-CKD national kidney project and with organisations, a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) project in maternity care for migrant women and professional bodies and charities

Other partnerships

Several staff have honorary posts at international universities, including:

  • Prof. Jane Wills at Southeast University, Nanjing, China
  • Prof. Alison Leary, University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Dr Louise Terry, University of Washington

Local government partners

Dr Susie Sykes leads the Public Health Responsive Studies Team (PHIRST London), a multidisciplinary group across the university that evaluates national public health projects.

Clinical partners

  • Prof. Nicki Thomas is honorary nurse consultant at Barts Health
  • Prof. Suzanne Bench has a joint appointment with Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
  • Dr. Sarah Church, Associate Professor in Midwifery has a joint appointment with Barts Health.
  • Prof. Becky Malby runs the Next Generation Health Systems Innovation Lab, a network designed to enable spread of great innovations in health and social care, working with partners in the UK and internationally.

Our achievements

Applied research and impact underpins all our research informed and driven by close partnerships with services.

It has had an impact on:

Policy: Dr Andrew Whittaker’s study on gangs has prompted a local council to invest in drug prevention programmes; Professor Jane Wills’ work on the health of nurses prompted a review of the hydration policies in hospitals;

Service Delivery: Prof. Eddie Chaplin’s work is changing the ways in which the criminal justice system addresses the needs of people with neuro-developmental disorders. Prof. Nicki Thomas’ work on chronic kidney disease has led to the earlier identification of CKD in primary care .

Innovations in health care: Profs. Thomas and Leary and Dr. Flood are evaluating the use of AI to improve service delivery.

New workforces: Prof. Leary and Dr Stewart Lord are reviewing advanced practice in allied health roles.

Our staff are highly recognised in their areas of practice: Professor Alison Leary has been named one of the most influential people in Nursing today and Professor Nicola Thomas has been recognised by the British Renal Society.  Professor Suzanne Bench is one of the 70@70 NHS research leaders.

Our staff are highly esteemed in their fields, editing international journals, being members of NICE clinical guideline development groups, being research grant reviewers and several hold joint clinical appointments.

Postgraduate research students

There are currently 36 registered Postgraduate Research students including four funded scholarships.

Dr Suzanne Bench

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Adult Nursing and Midwifery
Job title: Professor of Critical Care Nursing
Telephone: 020 7815 6797

Dr Suzanne Bench specialises in critical care nursing and her research interests are in the psychological recovery of patients and their families after critical illness.


Prof. Neil Brimblecombe

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Mental Health and Learning Disability
Job title: Professor of Mental Health

Neil Brimblecombe is a Professor of Mental Health in the school of Health and Social Care of London South Bank University.


Prof. Eddie Chaplin

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Mental Health and Learning Disability
Job title: Professor of Mental Health in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Telephone: 020 7815 7010

Dr Eddie Chaplin is Professor of Mental Health in Neurodevelopmental Disorders in the Department of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.


Dr Sarah Church

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Adult Nursing and Midwifery
Job title: Associate Professor in Midwifery
Telephone: 020 7815 8351

Dr Sarah Church is an experienced midwife, educator and researcher. She is in a joint appointment with LSBU and Barts Health NHS Trust.


Dr Tirion Havard

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Social Sciences
Telephone: 020 7815 8365

Dr Tirion Havard is a qualified social worker with a practice background in the Probation Service where she worked with offenders from a variety of backgrounds.


Prof. Alison Leary

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Primary and Social Care
Job title: Chair of Healthcare & Workforce Modelling
Telephone: (0)20 7815 8468

Prof. Becky Malby

School/Division: Health and Social Care
Job title: Professor of Health Systems Innovation
Telephone: 07974777309

Becky is the Professor of Health Systems Innovation. Previously she managed and lead innovation programmes and services in health and social care. Becky is an expert in clinical leadership, systems leadership and user voice.


Dr Calvin Moorley

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Adult Nursing and Midwifery
Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 4704

Dr Moorley is Associate Professor in Nursing Research and Diversity in Care. He is a registered nurse and practises in intensive care.


Dr Adéle Stewart-Lord

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Associate Professor
Telephone: 020 7815 7931

Dr Adéle Stewart-Lord is an Associate Professor in therapeutic radiography. Her main role as Associate Professor involves the management and delivery of the Continuous Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) agenda


Dr Paul Sugarhood

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 8472

Dr Sugarhood is an occupational therapist and has worked as a clinician, manager and researcher in the UK and Brazil. He is Course Director for the MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy.


Dr Susie Sykes

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Primary and Social Care
Job title: Associate Professor
Telephone: 020 7815 8388

Dr Susie Sykes is an Associate Professor of Public Health and the Director of PHIRST London. She is a member of the Centre for Applied Research in Improvement and Innovation within the Institute of Health and Social care and co-chairs the Population Health and Prevention Research Group. Her main research interests lie in health literacy, community health and public health workforce development.


Dr Louise Terry

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Adult Nursing and Midwifery
Job title: Reader in Law and Ethics
Telephone: 020 7815 8405

Dr Louise Terry is Reader in Law and Ethics, and specialises in teaching health and social care law and ethics. She has particular interest in withholding and withdrawing medical treatment, resource allocation, nursing wisdom, public administration and professional practice.


Prof. Nicola Thomas

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Adult Nursing and Midwifery
Job title: Professor of Kidney Care
Telephone: 020 7815 8045

Dr Thomas is a registered general nurse with a clinical background in kidney disease and diabetes. She also has a Doctorate in Professional Practice.


Dr Andrew Whittaker

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Primary and Social Care
Job title: Associate Professor
Telephone: 020 7815 8438

Andrew Whittaker is an Associate Professor in Social Work (half time) and Health and Social Care Research (half time).


Prof. Jane Wills

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Primary and Social Care
Job title: Director of Research and Enterprise; Professor of Health Promotion
Telephone: 020 7815 7996

Professor Jane Wills is Professor of Public Health and Health Promotion at LSBU. She was until 2021, the Director of Research and Enterprise responsible for the strategic direction of research for the Centre for Applied Research in Improvement and Innovation. Her research interests lie principally in the areas of health education and communication, behavioural interventions and workforce development.