Avril is a Research Fellow with NMAHP-RU on the PD COMM trial of NHS speech and language therapy interventions for people with Parkinson’s disease. She joined the Unit in October 2013 as a PhD student funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is writing up her thesis: ‘Speech and language therapy in practice: a critical realist account of how and why speech and language therapists in community settings in Scotland have changed their intervention for children with speech sound disorder’.
After completing an MRes (Health) at Stirling University in 2012, Avril worked as a research assistant on implementation studies involving nurses, youth workers and police officers. Having published and edited Speech & Language Therapy in Practice magazine from 1997-2011, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in recognition that this work was of ‘special value to the profession’. Avril’s interest in implementation/practice change also developed over the years through experience as a user representative at the award-winning Montrose Community Maternity Unit from 2000. After qualifying as a speech and language therapist from Jordanhill College in 1988, she worked as a community generalist in NHS clinical practice in Dundee and Aberdeenshire until 2002.