Publication approval reference: C1070
- Chief AHPs
- AHP professional bodies
- HR directors
- Regional HR directors
- Directors of nursing
- Regional chief nurses
- Regional HEE leads for HEIs
- Council of Deans for Health
9 February 2021
To support NHS staff in carrying out their frontline duties effectively and safely, I want to let you know that NHS organisations can offer additional employment to allied health professions (AHP) students, alongside the maintenance of all current AHP student clinical placements. This additional employment would be paid additional work outside of their university programmes and clinical placements, caring for patients through local bank arrangements. All arrangements should be agreed locally with trusts to suit the individual training needs of the 14 professions, and in line with the principles set out below.
This means in addition to time spent in clinical placements, attendance at university and progression to graduation, AHP students can voluntarily sign up for paid work to support frontline clinical services. Employers must understand that individuals would be working in assistant/support roles on bank, and not in the capacity as students/trainees related to registered professions.
As you know, frontline NHS staff with direct patient contact are eligible, as a priority, to be administered the COVID-19 vaccination, commencing with those most at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. This also applies to AHP students who are on placement in NHS organisations. However, not being vaccinated should not preclude involvement in the clinical team, given all frontline patient-facing staff must be provided with the appropriate PPE (as per national and local Infection Prevention Control guidance) for the clinical area in which they are working to ensure staff safety.
This call to action reflects the opportunity for AHP students to offer their own additional support, outside of their training, as part of the NHS current response to COVID-19 in support roles such as healthcare support workers and assistants. They are therefore also eligible for organisational support for staff wellbeing.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for the immense contribution that you continue to make.
Suzanne Rastrick OBE | Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (England)