School of Health Sciences

Image of Avril Drummond

Avril Drummond

Professor of Healthcare Research, Lead for Rehabilitation Research Group, REF Co-ordinator, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Avril Drummond is Professor of Healthcare Research and an occupational therapist. She qualified as an occupational therapist from the University of Ulster, undertook her MSc in Rehabilitation from the University of Southampton and her PhD at the University of Nottingham. She is;

  • Fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists
  • Member of the RCP Intercollegiate Working Party for stroke
  • Senior Chair NIHR Doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship panel.
  • Editor in Chief of Clinical Rehabilitation.
  • Trustee Stroke Association and Elizabeth Casson Trust
  • Previous Chair of the UK Stroke Forum and current Chair of the European Life after Stroke Conference panel
  • Previous Board Member, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Although Avril's main areas of interest are stroke rehabilitation and conducting randomized controlled trials, she is interested in all aspects of rehabilitation research. She has conducted trials and service evaluations of stroke units, occupational therapy pre-discharge home visits, falls reduction/management, interventions for people with MS, traumatic brain injury, low back pain and total hip replacements. She was one of fifteen woman identified by World Stroke Academy as an International Women in Stroke in 2021 and was made an honorary member of the British and Irish Association of Stroke Physicians in 2023.

Avril is currently conducting research into fatigue after stroke, falls, memory rehabilitation, tendon injuries, vocational rehabilitation, and upper limb recovery after stroke.

Expertise Summary


Rehabilitation research, occupational therapy, stroke rehabilitation, joint replacement, falls, home visits, lower back pain, fit notes, tendon injury, MS, vocational rehabilitation and fatigue.

Esteem Indicators:

  • Chair of the European Life after Stroke Scientific Conference Committee.
  • Member Royal College of Physicians Intercollegiate Working Party for Stroke to develop the National Clinical Guidelines for stroke care in the UK.
  • Editor in Chief of Clinical Rehabilitation
  • Senior Chair NIHR Doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship Panel
  • Trustee of the UK Stroke Association
  • Trustee Elizabeth Casson Trust
  • Co-Chair, Swedish Research Council panel to evaluate quality of clinical research conducted in universities in Sweden (similar to REF- the 'ALF' evaluation).

Research Summary

Prof Drummond's main area of interest is in stroke rehabilitation. She is also directly involved in a number of trials and surveys, for example;

The NotFAST study; Understanding fatigue in stroke patients and examining strategies to manage it.

Cognitive Rehabilitation in people with Multiple Sclerosis (NEuRoMS trial).

Managing and understanding continence issues in women (POSITIVE study).

Comparing splints after tendon repair (FIRST trial)

FIREFLI - Do safe and well visits delivered by the Fire and Rescue service reduce falls among older people?

TRICEPS-TRanscutaneous lImb reCovEry Post-Stroke) trial investigates whether arm recovery after a stroke can be improved with Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (TVNS).

OPAL- Occupational Advice after lower limb joint replacement.

Selected Publications


  • Sub-panel 3: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) (2011-)
  • Chair Elect of the UK Stroke Forum (Jan 2013-): coalition of 32 national multi-disciplinary organizations involved in stroke from across the UK committed to improving stroke care in the UK.
  • Vice Chair of The Stroke Association Research Award Committee and Chair of Rehabilitation Committee (2011, 2012-)
  • Royal College of Physicians Intercollegiate Working Party for Stroke to develop the National Clinical Guidelines for stroke care in the UK. This group is also responsible for the development UK Sentinel Stroke Audit Project (2007-)
  • Member of Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy Group: Optimising Early/Acute Care (Stroke). Department of Health (2012-)
  • The Stroke Association Expert Advisory Panel: to advise and represent The Stroke Association to the media on rehabilitation after stroke (2005-)
  • Deputy Director and Rehabilitation Theme Lead- Trent Local Stroke Research Network
  • NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) - Committee member for stroke rehabilitation guidelines and for Stroke Quality Standards
  • Clinical Rehabilitation Journal - Editorial Board Member

Keynote Addresses

  • 2013-keynote address, South West Stroke Event, Exeter.
  • 2012-keynote lecture, Launch of the College of Occupational therapy guidelines on hip management, London
  • 2012- invited speaker. Squeezing the best out of stroke care conference. Launch for the 4th edition of the National Clinical stroke guidelines. Royal College of Physicians, London .
  • 2011- keynote address, All-Ireland Occupational Therapy Conference, Dundalk
  • 2010 - keynote address, Casson Memorial Lecture, for the College of Occupational Therapists (UK), Brighton

Past Research

Occupational Therapy systematic reviews.

Evaluation of Stroke units.

Group treatments for MS.

Specific components of stroke rehabilitation- leisure, ADL, home visits, discharge, upper limb rehabilitation and fatigue.

Trials of falls- in day hospitals, in the community and in acute hospital settings.

School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15559