AHPs into Action at Expo 2017

NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer previews her theatre session at Expo on how ‘AHPs into Action’ is supporting, driving and inspiring diverse and important roles around the country:

The 14 Allied Health Professions have valuable roles to play in innovating and improving health and care.

AHPs went on a collective journey last year to define a mandate for change and how they can support the transformation of health and care and what needed to change: the answer was AHPs into Action.

Published in January, AHPs into Action describes how they can support the delivery of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and the Five Year Forward View. It is a resource to inform and inspire leaders and decision makers across the system. It offers a clear view of the potential of AHPs, over 50 examples of innovative AHP practice and a framework to help develop local delivery plans.

This brings together the views of the third largest workforce in the health and care system, with over 16,000 contributions submitted from patients, carers, the public, and staff through a process of crowdsourcing. To our knowledge this is the first time a public policy has been developed in this way in Europe.

More than just a policy document, this is a social movement driven by AHPs nationally, locally and online. On twitter nearly 2,000 people have used the #AHPsIntoAction hashtag in over 5,500 tweets in the past four months alone, sharing their plans and progress using the resource within their own organisations and regions.

So what are our next steps?

AHPs work in many sectors – health, social care, housing, education, leisure and industry. They support people from birth to end of life. As STPs develop and implement their plans AHPs have so much more to contribute to improving care and outcomes across primary and secondary care, social care and public health.

So, do you know what this means for your service, organisation and STP? Are you involving AHPs in local developments? Do you understand what AHPs can offer in terms of innovative and evidence based care?

If the answer to any of these questions is “No” then there are a number of opportunities at Expo 2017 to find out more:

Come along to the STP zone on Monday 11 September at 3.00pm, I’ll be presenting on AHPs into Action and STPs.

Register for our Theatre session on the 12 at 10.15am where AHP leads from NHS England, Health Education England, Public Health England, NHS Improvement and local NHS organisations will be presenting on the impact of AHPs.

Join me at these sessions to find out how the 14 allied health professions can lead innovation and transformation; and how AHP leads across the arm’s length bodies are working together to support this.

Follow Suzanne on Twitter: @suzannerastrick #AHPsIntoAction

Suzanne Rastrick

Suzanne qualified as an Occupational Therapist from Oxford. Suzanne was the first Allied Health Professional (AHP) to hold a substantive Director of Nursing post in both provider and commissioning organisations. She became the Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust, where a particular highlight was having leadership responsibility for delivering health resilience and health ‘blue light’ services during the Olympic sailing events held in Dorset in 2012. She subsequently gained authorisation for a large Clinical Commissioning Group, before moving to her current post with NHS England. She was appointed as Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for England in September 2014.

In 2017 Suzanne launched the first AHP strategy for England which has been recognised as ground-breaking in policy development from its use of crowdsourcing. Building on this, Suzanne published the second AHP strategy – ‘AHPs Deliver’ in June 2022. This iteration had a greater emphasis on patient, public voice and specifically the inclusion of those who may be digitally excluded along with communities who may find it difficult to connect with traditional consultation methods. The result is a national strategy crowdsourced from diverse populations for people and communities AHPs serve.

For over three decades, Suzanne has held non-executive portfolios outside of the NHS, including audit committee chair roles, predominantly in the housing and charitable sector. Suzanne was recognised as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list 2019. In 2023 Suzanne was awarded a Visiting Professor role at St George’s, University of London and at Oxford Brookes University.

Follow Suzanne on Twitter/X @SuzanneRastrick or Instagram @chief_ahp_officer_england

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *