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:

  • The identification and management of acute and long-term conditions
  • The use of assistive technology in rehabilitation
  • Mental health and learning disability
  • The needs of marginalised and under-served groups
  • The decision making, judgement and assessment of risk in health and social care practice
  • Methods of patient involvement and co-production
  • The education and development of health care professionals
  • Workforce modelling and new clinical roles
  • Violence Against Women and Girls (coercive control and the criminal exploitation of young women and girls)
  • Evaluation of interventions to promote health and well-being and reduce inequalities in health
  • Current projects

    Examples of current projects include:

    AI project – Ultromics - NHS Digital/X (620K)

    Evaluation of the DrDoctor artifical intelligence medical technology (550k)  

    Impact of specialist community nursing/ICNO (500K)  

    Transformative Justice, women with convictions and community cohesion - Nuffield Foundation (190K)  

    The impact of the SWAN programme in Greater Manchester, Burdett, (100K)

    Understanding nurse retention and its impact on patient outcomes in secondary care and mental health (260K)

    Understanding paramedic retention AmReS: Ambulance workforce retention and patient safety - Health Foundation (180K)  

    NHS Resolutions academic partnership analysis (130K)

    Key publications

Our people

The Centre is led by Dr. Adéle Stewart-Lord. 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.

Staff directory

To view the full Centre for Applied Research in Improvement and Innovation in Health and Social Care staff

  • Dr Anita Atwal
  • Dr Chris Flood
  • 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

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.

Dr Tirion Havard leads a knowledge transfer project with Southwark Council addressing coercive control and the criminal exploitation of young women and girls.

Tirion Harvard and Andrew Whittaker have a partnership with Southwark Council.

Tirion Harvard and Andrew Whittaker are members of European Social Work Special Interest Groups.

Prof Becky Malby is an Independent Non-Executive Member, West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board.

Professor Susie Sykes leads the NIHR funded PHIRST South Bank (Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies) Centre, a multidisciplinary centre that evaluates locally led public health interventions across the UK.

Clinical partners

  • Prof. Nicki Thomas is honorary nurse consultant at 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 completely redesigned its gang strategy, leading to significant reductions in youth violence (38% reduction for GBH, 34% for knife crime with injuries, 27% for overall knife crime)’.

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, Flood and Dr Stewart Lord are evaluating the use of AI to improve service delivery.

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG): Tirion Havard was seconded to English parliament and was an advisor to MOPAC for the forthcoming VAWG policy for London.

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 and Professor Neil Brimblecombe have been named one of the most influential people in Nursing today. 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 30 registered Doctoral students including two funded scholarships.