#AHPsDay goes international!

The Chief Allied Health Professions Officer previews a proud day in the calendar

Thee first ever Allied Health Professions (AHP) Day was held in October 2018 in the spirit of our national framework AHPs into Action.

This grassroots initiative, started through a conversation between two colleagues on a bus in Cornwall, led to AHPs across England finding hundreds of innovative ways to celebrate being part of the AHP community, with promotional events, executive shadowing and even flashmobs.

I spent the day on a bus with local AHPs, non-executives and executives from local health organisations travelling round Cornwall visiting a range of services and presenting tokens to those identified as having made outstanding contributions.

Building on the success of last year, this year AHPs’ day is on Monday 14 October 2019. Interest in the day has grown significantly and has spread from England to colleagues across the United Kingdom with events happening in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

If this achievement was not enough, colleagues from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore will also be joining in the celebrations and have adopted the 14th October as their AHPs’ day too.

This year colleagues in Rotherham and Bristol are taking the lead to head up events.

Rotherham are proud to be the northern flagbearers and are splitting their day to maximise their impact, with activities promoting roles and careers in both hospital and community settings.

They will be holding events in the hospital to promote the professions and are being joined by the Executive Team. They will also be running a poster completion to help share their work more widely whenever the opportunity arises.  In the afternoon they are holding a careers event at a local university with AHP course leaders which will be attended by students from local secondary schools and colleges.

Further south, the North Bristol AHPs are the cheerleaders. They will be showcasing the integral role in clinical pathways by releasing a short film on social media, which will underline their central role in the major trauma pathway from admission to discharge and beyond. They will also be curating videos of AHPs talking about the aspects of their roles that might surprise people.

Our national team will be hosting a live webinar on the morning, during which there will be a question and answer session. A recording of the webinar will be available to be played at any point during the day. Details of how to access this will be circulated through the Chief AHP forum, on the NHS England AHPs day web page and via Twitter.

In the evening  there will be twitter chat from 7:00pm until 8:00pm, this will be an opportunity to share what you have all been doing to celebrate during the day and any ideas this has generated for future events.

To support you with your events, we have created a page on the NHS England website that gives you more information about AHPs day. On this you will also find a link to the AHPs day resources page which has been created by some of our colleagues out in the service, which has useful graphics, links to AHP career resources and much more. This website also has a link to the AHPs day Zee maps, it would be fantastic to be able to see what you are all planning for this amazing day of celebration. If you are promoting what you are doing on twitter please make sure you use #AHPsDay in your tweets!

I will, as you will see from the map, be heading to Liverpool to spend the day at Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital and some other AHP services in the area.

Suzanne Rastrick

Suzanne Rastrick is Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England.

She qualified as an occupational therapist in Oxford in 1986, and began her career in the acute hospital sector, moving to practice in community and primary care where she then gained her first general management role.

Suzanne was one of the first allied health professionals to hold a substantive Director of Nursing post, and has since held these roles in both providing and commissioning organisations in the NHS. She has also been Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust Cluster, and achieved authorisation for a large Clinical Commissioning Group with an integral commissioning support unit.

She has a Non-Executive portfolio in the commercial and not-for-profit housing sector, and sits on a number of national groups including NHS Employers Policy Board, Health Education England AHP Advisory Group, and England Centre for Practice Development National Advisory Board.

Suzanne was appointed as Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for NHS England on 1 September 2014. This role also has key professional leadership relationships to the Department of Health as well as to Health Education England.

Follow Suzanne on Twitter: @SuzanneRastrick

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  1. Catherine Turnbull says:

    Australian AHPs are looking forward to joining in the celebrations around the world on 14 October 2019 for the first time #AHPsDay