Dr Deborah Antcliff

Researcher wins skills enhancement award

Advanced physiotherapy practitioner Dr Deborah Antcliff has been awarded a National Institute for Health Research grant to develop her research skills at a specialist clinical trials unit.

Dr Antcliff, who was also the Northern Care Alliance’s Researcher of the Year in 2019, will use the 12-month Development and Skills Enhancement Award to deepen her knowledge of research methods and design in randomised controlled trials.

This will build on her previous award under Health Education England and the NIHR’s prestigious Integrated Clinical Academic programme, which saw her lead a research study testing a new guideline to standardise how healthcare professionals advise patients to pace their activities to help manage conditions such as chronic low back pain, chronic widespread pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).

Dr Antcliff, who is based at Fairfield General Hospital and works with Bury Integrated Pain Service, will begin her placement at Keele University’s Clinical Trials Unit in October.

During her time there she will work as study coordinator for a multi-site research project to support opioid review/reduction in persistent pain, as well as supporting a trial testing knee braces.

She will be mentored by leading experts at Keele and at the University of Leeds, which supported her ICA award and where she is a Visiting Research Fellow.

Dr Antcliff explained: “This is a really exciting opportunity for me to develop wide-ranging research skills, while continuing to work with the Bury Integrated Pain Service. I’m delighted to develop collaborations with these leading universities, and colleagues at the Northern Care Alliance.

“Ultimately, the skills I develop during this placement will support further research for the benefit of patients who are experiencing chronic pain. Well-planned and conducted research is crucial to help health professionals choose the most effective treatments for their patients.”