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More time to have your say – Suzanne Rastrick

NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer extends online workshop deadline:

There has been a fantastic response to the online workshop launched on 18 April 2016.  So much so that we have had several requests to extend the deadline to give enough time for AHPs to share their views on how they will deliver future care in England.

Therefore the deadline for closure of the workshop has now been extended to midnight on the 6 May 2016, to give AHPs more time to have your say.

Thank you for sharing your ideas, comments and votes to two key questions:

  • How will England be different if all AHPs were genuinely used effectively?
  • What do you think AHPs need to stop, start or do differently to ensure they are ‘used’ effectively to help transform health and wellbeing in England?

As you know, the vision is to form a national declaration and programme of work which has been co-created and therefore will be co-owned by all AHPs. The aim is that it will support and drive AHPs transformative role in England’s health and care system.

You can register or log on at any time until midnight on the 6 May 2016.

Please encourage colleagues to have a voice also. You can do this using the ‘nominate a colleague’ function in the workshop.

I look forward to hearing the results of the analysis of the first stage of this programme of work when they are presented at the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Conference on the 23 June #CAHPO16 . Following which the online workshop will be opened again to engage wider stakeholder groups including, people receiving AHP services, carers, other health care professionals, commissioners etc.

Thank you once again.


Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS EnglandSuzanne Rastrick has been NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer since September 2014.

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.

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3 comments

  1. kevin riley says:

    All these initiatives are concealing the reality that the NHS is now no longer “national” since the removal of the NHS from democratic control as a result of the fundamental changes introduced by the last Conservative led Government in 2013.
    Even NHS England cannot guarantee that any identified “improvements” are actually implemented by the now “independent” NHS Foundation trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups – neither can Jeremy Hunt or the Department of Health.

  2. Michele Fisher says:

    Occupational Therapists in Allied Health groups have a huge remit for Individuals who need Mental Health, Physical and Psychological intervention. The ‘cinderella’ service (a historical tag) is always requested whether its hospital, community or even Prison settings because the ‘tool box’ that Therapists carry fundamentally accesses every aspect of an individuals life and without predjudice or preconcieved ideas assesses and treats what is important to that individual, not just by a pigeon holed model i.e medcine or psychiatry, truly holistic. If there were Occupational therapists in every GP practice, then preventative work and prevention of acute admissions to hospitals would be far greater than is now. Passionate about the Profession I work in, Fundamentally, target driven is not what individuals are about, quality care, listening to what is important a person and objectively assessing and treating using a wide range of skills would save far more time and money. Thre is a drive to genericisim but the magic potentially gets lost because the skills pool gets narrower not wider and the public loses out. Challenging times for all AHP’s to ensure that skills and ideals don’t get lost.

  3. Feedback with respect:

    I am a Registered Nurse who qualified at the start of the Project 2000 / Dip HE Nursing era qualifying in 1997.

    Prior to entering nurse education I had practiced within the Royal Signals as a Regimental Medical Assistant.

    AHP’s distinct groups are listed by David Oliver http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2015/11/allied-health-professionals-new-models-care in December 2015 but does not include Registered Nurses.

    I have worked as a nurse adviser for Innovex which is part of the Quintiles group.

    What I have learnt is that it is easy to work within a narrow remit, i.e. you are just responsible for x,y and z.

    That this is what you are judged on, what you can keep up to date on and become excellent within.

    A Registered Nurse no matter what area they work in has skills, knowledge and abilities that ensure that they don’t just achieve outcomes themselves that are legally and professionally judged but that their fellow professionals achieve outcomes to. You cannot just go to one client / resident / patient and do your thing without having responsibility for what’s going on around you.

    I feel and believe that achieving narrow outcomes through different sets of professionals i.e. like distillation of crude oil into its constituents will not achieve quality outcomes for all in the long run.

    The same as Registered Nurses as soon as possible moving from the generalist to the specialist to ensure they survive in this modern age of care provision.

    What am I trying to say, I have worked as an unregistered practitioner utilising many skills and authority that I do not have now as a Registered Nurse (Army Medic).

    Too much variety will like the saying be ‘too many cooks’ will dilute the quality.

    What skills and abilities do ‘Registered Nurses’ own?

    I believe as noted that focusing on one area will also give a better practitioner.

    Relegating Registered Nurses to just team leaders / managers will be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    SRN’s disappeared in the search for more academic and knowledgeable doers.

    I would ask that Registered Nurses need to know they are loved, believed in, factored into the coming new order of care delivery.

    They are the oil that allows the machine of health and social care to work effectively.

    We need to have pride in ourselves, to know it would not be easier, less accountable and stressful to be an AHP instead.

    I have always been proud of Nursing and of being a nurse.

    I have felt privileged knowing the sacrifice, selfless nature that drives nurses to evolve into what they become.

    Do I have rose coloured spectacles to think that the new generations of aspiring talent will want to choose Nursing as a career instead of the AHP route?

    Nursing is a snowball that has rolled down the slope and grown into a positive agent of change for good over many, many years.

    Please ensure that Nurses do not lose their sense of worth.

    That they are not used as midwives to the new children of care delivery prior to being consigned to the history books themselves.

    But change is required and should never by shyed away from.

    But let nurses based upon their pedigree, history, resilience, care and compassion be part of this.

    Yours Faithfully

    Christopher Barral