Don’t miss out on shaping the future

NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer gives an update on the AHPs Online Workshop and why it is important to take part:

It’s been a week since I launched the online workshop to engage the Allied Health Professions to co-create and shape the vision for the future that will support and drive AHPs transformative role in England’s health and care system.

We are asking you to respond 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?

The workshop has received a tremendous response with 530 people joining the discussion in the first five days. There were 123 ideas posted, on which there were 315 comments made and 2,040 votes cast declaring a ‘like’ or a ‘dislike’ to an idea or comment.

You can register or log on at any time until the 2 May 2016.

The results of this initial workshop will be 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.

Over the past five years , despite global recession and austerity, healthcare has generally been successful in responding to a growing population, an ageing population, and a sicker population, as well as new drugs and treatments and cuts in local councils’ social care.

Remarkable – but we know that it cannot continue. It is unsustainable and leading to three widening gaps outlined in the five year forward view, published in October 2014; the health and wellbeing gap, the care and quality gap and the funding and efficiency gap.

Our response to that has been The Vanguards, new models of care developed during 2015 was one of the first steps towards delivering the Five Year Forward View and supporting improvement and integration of services.

In addition to this, the NHS shared planning guidance 2016/17 – 20/21 outlines a new approach to help ensure that health and care services are planned by place rather than around individual institutions. This means that every health and care system will work together to produce a multi-year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), showing how local services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years – ultimately delivering the Five Year Forward View vision.

The online workshop is AHPs opportunity to collectively co-create and co-own their response to this. How AHPs will work together, with the wider health and care system to narrow the gaps in the quality of care, their population’s health and wellbeing, and in NHS finances.

Thank you to all who have contributed so far. For those who haven’t had the chance, please don’t miss out on this opportunity to co-create change.

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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One comment

  1. Rupinder Parmar says:

    I feel Allied Professionals are on the forefront to be able to assess the needs of the local community and ensure our services meet their needs and so require a bigger say in how services evolve in the NHS. We need more of a voice