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

We conduct transformational research that makes a difference to the way 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. Research is funded by local NHS Trusts, charities and national bodies.

Investigated topics

  • The identification and management of long term conditions and pain,
  • The use of assistive technology in rehabilitation,
  • The needs of marginalised and under-served groups in health care services and the criminal justice system,
  • 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 staffing levels.

Current projects

  • Guys and St Thomas’ Charity: identification and support individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities through the criminal justice system (£675k).
  • Health Education England: Evaluating ‘making every contact count’ (£54k).
  • Several studies modelling the health care workforce in cancer, the Impact of Advanced Practice into Northern Ireland for the CNO Northern Ireland (£60k), the diabetes specialist workforce in South West London (£30k), and the ophthalmic workforce Moorfields/HEE (£80k).

The Centre is led by Professor Jane Wills and Prof. Nicki Thomas. There are nine 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.

Visiting researchers

  • Mark Bovey, British Acupuncture Council
  • Prof. Paul Fish, Royal National Orthopedic Hospital
  • Prof. Faith Gibson, University of Surrey
  • Prof. Rebecca Jester, University of Wolverhampton
  • Dr. Jane McCarthy, University of Auckland
  • Dr Roger Newham, University of Birmingham
  • Prof. Myeong Soo Lee, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine
  • Prof. Brian Taylor, Ulster University
  • Dr. Rachel Taylor, University College London Hospitals
  • Prof. David Wareing,  University College London Hospitals

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.

Academic partners

Several staff have honorary posts at international universities, including:

  • Prof. Jane Wills at Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
    Prof. Sally Hardy, at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Prof. Alison Leary, University of South-Eastern Norway.

Clinical partners

  • Prof. Nicki Thomas has a joint appointment with Barts Health.
  • Dr. Sarah Church, Associate Professor in Midwifery has a joint appointment with Barts Health.
  • Prof. Becky Malby is setting up 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 work often has an impact on policy and service delivery: e.g. 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; and Dr Eddie Chaplin’s work is changing the ways in which the criminal justice system addresses the needs of people with neuro-developmental disorders.

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.

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

Key publications

Dr S.H. Cedar

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Adult Nursing and Midwifery
Job title: Reader in Biomedical Sciences
Telephone: 020 7815 4705

Dr SH Cedar is a biological scientist specialising in homeostasis and health. She has a PhD in stem cells and cancer and has recently received an MA in Theology and Religious Studies.

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 Stephen McKeever

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing
Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 8342

Dr Stephen McKeever initially trained as adult nurse then a children's nurse. His clinical and research experience has mainly focused on the care of the critically ill child.

Dr Susie Sykes

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Primary and Social Care
Job title: Senior Lecturer, Research
Telephone: 020 7815 8388

Susie is a Senior Lecturer in Primary and Social Care Research. Her professional background is in public health and health promotion, and she has particular interests in community development, health policy and health literacy.

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.

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

Jane's research interests include the impact of health promotion education on professional practice.

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 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.

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.

Prof. Nicola Robinson

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Professor of TCM and Integrated Health
Telephone: 020 7815 7940

Prof. Nicola Robinson is an active researcher who has published widely and has successfully supervised PhD's on various health related topics.

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.