NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer explains how all 12 AHPs can work together to transform care of the future:
There is a mandate in England, right now, for the Allied Health Professions to co-create a vision of how, with collective action, our nation will be different if all AHPs were used effectively in the health, social and wider care system.
On 18 April, all AHPs in England will be invited to take part in an online workshop to share views on how they can deliver future care in England – and this is for wherever they practice, not just the NHS. This is not just about the health service. It’s about local authorities, housing, private practices and the voluntary sectors too.
This online workshop will use crowdsourcing methodology to capture the voice of AHPs and, specifically, to form a national mandate for change that will support and drive AHPs transformative role in England’s health and care system.
This will be our chance to have a voice and co-create a mandate for change working towards common goals and challenges together.
Look out for my blog and tweets on the day for the details of how to register to take part.
We have collective agreement from the professional bodies of a need to engage AHPs to co-create and shape the vision for the future and an ‘ask’ from the wider system.
Myself, and Joanne Fillingham, CAHPO Clinical Fellow, have been working with Clever Together to source views, evidence and key issues to inform the development, form, function and viability of such a mandate.
On 17 February an event was hosted for the Chief Executives and Chief Officers of the 12 AHP Professional Bodies designed to explore subjects such as:
- the common goals and challenges of the AHP professional bodies,
- the value that a national AHP strategy could generate and the pitfalls to avoid,
- methods of involving AHPs, patients, service users and other stakeholders nationally within a strategy design process.
Ultimately the question was: is there collective action that AHPs could take to support the delivery of what will be required in the future care landscape of England?
The result of the workshop with the 12 professional bodies was a collective agreement that gains can be made for all AHPs – and the care system more broadly – by working towards common goals and challenges together. Moreover, there was a consensus that this focus ought to be derived and defined further through a wide ranging engagement with AHPs nationally. The conclusion being that a collective engagement was needed to ensure AHPs have the opportunity to have their voice heard to shape such a mandate.
Peter Thomond, Managing Director of Clever Together, told me his organisation is “proud to be supporting the work to realise the transformative potential of England’s AHPs”.
He explained: “Our methods will enable AHPs and their stakeholders to share their views on the future of the professions anonymously and securely.
“Participants can be assured that ideas will be judged on their merit, not their author. This means a new national mandate for AHPs can be delivered through genuine, open, collective engagement. Our methods will enable transparent analyses to reveal a shared voice and vision that will take the professions forward.”
So why do we need a mandate for change?
Well, the five year forward view sets out a vision for future care in which these gaps can be addressed by new models of care, ‘Vanguards’, all of which represent differing forms of integration. However, it is not unique in its conclusion that integrated approaches to care will help solve many of our nation’s challenges. Indeed, integration, new public heath approaches and the smarter use of community-based assets are not novel ideas for many of England’s AHPs.
I have been visiting the vanguard sites that are pioneering, exploring and delivering new care models as part of my work to support the New Care Models team within NHS England.
During these activities, both the vanguard provider organisations and AHPs from across the nation have asked me for a clear national strategy for AHPs – one that collectively gives direction and support to commissioners, provider organisations and AHP practitioners who are seeking to work differently.
I urge all AHPs, both those within and out with NHS provider organisations to take part. This is an exciting opportunity for AHPs across England to co-create and co-own the vision of how AHPs can and will deliver future care in England.
- You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at: @SuzanneRastrick
Her pivotal role includes taking the lead in developing the vital contribution from the 12 allied health professions (AHPs) to further improve the commissioning and services provided by AHPs to achieve better outcomes for patients after illness and injury.
She works alongside colleagues both within and outside of NHS England, as the senior adviser to the Department of Health on AHP matters, as well as representing England’s health professionals on the international stage.
Suzanne qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) from Oxford in 1986 and began her career in the acute hospital sector.
She was one of the first allied health professionals (AHPs) to hold a substantive Director of Nursing post. She has also been Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust Cluster, and has a Non-Executive portfolio in the commercial and not for profit Housing Sector and sits on a number of national groups.
Since 2013, she has played a prominent role in clinical commissioning, as Interim Chief Executive of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group during its shadow form, followed by Director of Quality.