Dr Nicky Eddison, a consultant orthotist, has become the first associate professor within Staffordshire University's Centre for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies.
The healthcare professional works in the field which specialises making and fitting braces and splints (orthoses) for people who need added support for body parts.
Dr Eddison, who was appointed to her role at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust which became the first body in the NHS to recognise the position, said: "I am proud to be the first associate professor of orthotics in the UK and the first UK practicing orthotist with an academic title.
"This is a great achievement for the profession, and also for our department, establishing us as a research-led service. I am grateful for the support of the trust to enable me to achieve this position, which demonstrates the value the organisation places on the orthotic service and the patients we serve.”
Dr Eddison, who also gained her PhD in Biomechanics / Biomechanical optimisation of AFO-FCs at Staffordshire University, is one of eight new associate professors at Staffordshire University.
Professor Martin Jones, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Staffordshire University, said: “Promotion to associate professor is a major achievement. Please accept my congratulations on your success.”
Professor Nachi Chockalingam, director of the centre for biomechanics and rehabilitation technologies at Staffordshire University, said: “Nicky is a fantastic role model for orthotists, not only in this country, but across the world. Her research work with us is going from strength to strength and has started to have an impact on changing clinical practice.”
Dr Rosalind Leslie, chief AHP at the Wolverhampton trust rust, said: “This is a fantastic and well-deserved appointment for Nicky, illustrating how highly respected she is in the field of orthotics research.
“Nicky works tirelessly to ensure allied health professionals have a robust evidence base for practice.”
Dr Eddison’s most recent paper features in British Medical Journal Open (BMJ Open), entitled: ‘Exploration of implementation, financial and technical considerations within allied health professional (AHP) telehealth consultation guidance: a scoping review including UK AHP professional bodies’ guidance’.
Originally from Manchester, Dr Eddison, 46, has been with the trust for over 14 years after arriving as a Band 5 Junior Orthotist in 2007 following her graduation from Salford University.
Soon after she started at the trust, Dr Eddison was the only clinical member of staff in the department, but now leads a team of seven operating across New Cross Hospital and West Park Hospital in Wolverhampton, Cannock Chase Hospital and Bridgnorth Hospital, handling 40 referrals per day and up to 16,000 patients per year.
She has authored or co-wrote 20 publications and has been Chair of the Professional Affairs Committee of BAPO and a member of its Executive Committee since November 2020.