Allied Health Professionals leading change

Suzanne Rastrick ,Chief Allied Professions Officer (England) at NHS England and NHS Improvement discusses how Allied Health Professions are working in new and innovative ways to meet increased demands on health services

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The services provided by the 14 Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are intrinsic to delivering the NHS Long Term Plan. The predicted increased population demands on health and care services, will require AHPs to work in new and innovative ways to meet these growing requirements. This is a familiar journey for AHPs who continually look at the opportunities to develop pioneering care and workforce models. This is evidenced in AHPs into Action, which details the transformative potential of AHPs.

These developments will see opportunities for both the registered and support workforce, with the creation of new roles, greater numbers of advanced and consultant practitioners and expansion of some of the emerging models of care such as First Contact practice. These innovative approaches will require new multi-professional leadership models where the focus is on clinical pathways and conditions, which deliver high quality, safe and effective care.

AHPs need to critically evaluate their services, to create the workforce capacity required to support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan. This will mean identification of what needs to be stopped, started or continued, and what skills can be safely delegated or shared to ensure we get the most out of the taxpayers’ investment in the NHS. Multi-professional teams also need to look at non-traditional models to deliver care differently.

In my travels across England, I see first-hand how AHPs are leading change to create innovative efficient services, that significantly improve peoples’ lives and wellbeing. This resource includes many of these examples, which I hope will inspire readers to create innovative solutions to the challenges they are facing, in meeting the health and care needs of patients and users. Continued growth in the evidence base for new care models is essential and will be achieved through the use of quality improvement strategies and the development of shared outcomes.

Visit the Care Quality Commission website to see case studies highlighting what providers have done to take a flexible approach to staffing. You can also read more from CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Prof Ted Baker, and Health Education England Chair, Sir David Behan.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

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