Award winning allied health professions

The Chief Allied Health Professionals Officer’s awards are an important opportunity to celebrate the significant contribution and impact of the allied health professions (AHPs) to improving health, care and wellbeing, at both a population and individual level and across the life course.

We have been overwhelmed by the response to the awards this year and the high standard of nominations we received, demonstrating that AHPs continue to evaluate, improve and evidence the impact of their contribution to support patients and the healthcare system.

I am therefore delighted to announce the finalists for this year’s awards:

NICE into Action – supported by NICE

  • Christopher Dyer, Natalie Sharp and Francesca Browning, Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust: Therapy Stroke Groups: Improving patient activity on the stroke unit and efficiency of the workforce.
  • Laura McNeillie, Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust: Developing a new pulmonary rehabilitation program tailored for interstitial lung disease.
  • Laura Charlesworth, Therapeutic Radiographer, Sheffield Hallam University; Daniel Hutton, Change Manager and AHP Lead, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust; and the Smokefree team: No ifs No butts; Clatterbridge’s journey to a smoke free trust.

AHP Support Worker – supported by Public Health England

  • Milena Angelova, Podiatry Assistant, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust: Project to reduce spend on high quality wound dressings within GSTT podiatry department.
  • Brenda Ankers, Therapy Support Worker, Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust: PULSE: effect of repetitive upper limb sensory stimulation immediately after a stroke.
  • Alison Marshall, AHP Assistant, and Cathy Young, Occupational Therapy Assistant, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: A reading for wellbeing therapy group.

AHP Quality Improvement – supported by NHS improvement

  • Marc Berry, Physiotherapist, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Early Doors: can emergency care therapies help to prevent avoidable admissions in the emergency department?
  • Warren Corbett, MSK/Orthopaedic/Obs & Gynae Therapy Manager and the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Team, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust: Improving the health and well-being of hospital staff through a self-referral scheme to the musculoskeletal physiotherapy service.
  • Ana-Carolina Goncalves, Physiotherapist, Solent NHS Trust: Reducing rates of patient falls in an in-patient older persons organic mental health ward.

AHP Leader Award – supported by Health Education England

  • Chloe Adams, Community Gastroenterology Dietician, Birmingham Community Nutrition, Birmingham Community NHS Trust: Dietitian led community gastroenterology service.
  • Nick Lane, Head of Therapies, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Diabetes transformation project.
  • Tracy Walker, Clinical Service Manager Rehabilitation, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust: Transforming stroke community rehabilitation services in Greater Manchester.

AHP Digital Practice Award – Supported by NHS Digital

  • Cath O’Connor, Community Rehab Physiotherapist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Feasibility and acceptability of Florence (FLO) telehealth to support early pulmonary rehabilitation (EPR): a service evaluation.
  • Abi Roper, Co Chair, and the Computers in Therapy Clinical Excellence Network: The CIT CEN Toolkit – solutions for speech and language therapists using technology as part of therapy.
  • Marianne Williams, Specialist Gastroenterology Community Dietitian, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: Irritable bowel Syndrome pathway: adding dietetic-led patient-focused webinars to the IBS pathway in order to further improve IBS self-management in Somerset.

My thanks go to our all our awards partners for supporting these awards.

The Awards ceremony will take place on the evening of 19 June in London – we will be joined by the NHS choir as part of our celebration and announcements on winners will be made live on twitter using #CAHPO18.

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

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