Steven Whitton MSc Clin Res, BSc (Hons) MCSP

Health Team Leader, South Norfolk Community Learning Disabilities Team, Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust.

Clinical role and experience

I work in a multidisciplinary Community Learning Disabilities Team supporting adults with health promotion, access to health services, and specialist support to reduce healthcare inequalities and avoidable hospital admissions.

I graduated in 2003 and worked in the NHS as a Physiotherapist across inpatient and community settings before making the transition to my first full-time leadership role in 2017 in the Learning Disability Service. I am still a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists for People with Learning Disabilities (ACPPLD) and previously held the position of Research Officer on the ACPPLD National Executive Committee.

Research training and experience

I completed the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) MSc in Clinical Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2015. The topic of my systematic review was ‘predisposing risk factors for hip pain for adults with cerebral palsy’.

I have been a committee member of the CAHPR East Anglia Hub during the past five years and supported attempts to create a regional Learning Disability Research Group hosted by the UEA Health and Social Care Partnership.

Despite being unsuccessful with my application for the East of England HEE/ICA Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme earlier this year, I am committed to undertaking a PhD in the area of learning disability and health inequalities, long-term conditions, patient engagement, or health action planning.

My focus now is to gain further research experience with the support of our Research Team by promoting participation in relevant research for staff and patients, completing literature reviews, and identifying Principal Investigator opportunities.

Research collaborations

I am grateful for the opportunity to gain experience working alongside Professor Natalie Pattison and Dr Helena Wythe from the University of Hertfordshire this year on a project developing visual resources for people with intellectual disabilities experiencing critically illness and receiving care in intensive care units.