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Allied Health Professions Into Action – Suzanne Rastrick

NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer previews the launch of the next stage of AHPs shaping the future of health care:

In the last nine months many members of the 12 Allied Health Professions have undertaken a fascinating and hugely productive journey in helping to develop future policy.

I believe this journey to be unique to Western Europe and has involved other health and care professionals and the public.

They have come together to help shape strategy and policy via crowdsourcing as a method to air their views.

The benefit being that unlike a physical workshop, crowdsourcing provides a virtual room, in which any number of people can join, through any web-connected device, over a period of days or weeks to ensure a diverse audience have the chance to have their voice heard.

By asking specific questions and then utilising analytics to generate the insights arising from responses, this methodology has been utilised to draft a mandate for change for AHPs that is co-created and therefore co-owned.

It began back in April last year and entered a second phase as the “Mandate for Change” following my conference in June.

That led to no fewer than 16,000 individual contributions from 2,000 people out of 3,500 who signed up to take part in the debate, putting forward ideas and opinions, and voting on the best of them.

The product resulting from this collective work is ‘AHPs into Action’ which will be launched on 17 January 2017.

It defines how AHPs can support local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and implement actions to respond to the three priorities set out in the Five Year Forward View: driving improvements in health and wellbeing; restoring and maintaining financial balance and delivering core quality standards.

AHPs are the third largest workforce in the health and care system and ‘AHPs into Action’ seeks to define how England would be different if AHPs were genuinely used effectively.

As this work was developed to actively include feedback from public and clinician participation we wish to continue this at, and beyond, the launch. We will be reopening the digital platform at the launch to seek thoughts on what individuals will take ‘intoAction’ themselves.

We will also be periscoping live the launch event to be held from 2.45pm to 5pm at Church House in Westminster next Tuesday and @WeAHPs will shortly be blogging details of how you can see this and participate in other social media activity under at: #AHPsintoAction.


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. frank lee says:

    one wouldd have thought that professionals zwould hhave consulted each other about best practice a!ready, what is so unique about ahp’s. congribution ?

  2. Francesco Palma says:

    Slide 79 (taken from on line workshop and data presented at conference) from the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s Conference 2016 shows that the percentage of service users/patients involved amounted to 0%.

    Slide 79 presentation link below
    https://image.slidesharecdn.com/cahpomainstagepresentations-160713104953/95/chief-allied-health-professions-officers-conference-2016-main-stage-presentations-79-638.jpg?cb=1468407005

    Uncertain if this should be of concern to the AHP owned Mandate for Change Policy if service users/Patients (no mention of Carers)are not involved.
    AHP’s into Action does not appear to address the lack of meaningful engagement of service users/patient/carers and public which was demonstrated with the mandate for change.
    The one of aims and vision of the HCPC is to work in partnership with the public,struggle to see how the above has been achieved, reference to HCPC Strategic Intent 2016 objective 3 Effective Communication:To extend engagement with the public

  3. Francesco Palma says:

    Reference is made that the draft mandate was co-created therefore Co-owned, Co-production can be described as using the lived experience of LT conditions of patients as assets with skills,I struggle to see how Co-Design between 1 AHP to another leads to Co-Creation.
    The journey of the student AHP to registration with HCPC is covered by both Standards of Education & Training(SET) and once qualified by Standards of Proficiency(SOP) which both require active involvement of patients/service users and carers, seems to me that both SET & SOP are not practiced beyond registration if the article can develop policy with no patients/service users/carers in the room in the capacity such as Lay advisors rather than on-line consultees.