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NHS England Offers AHPs Greater Involvement in STP Delivery

NHS England has announced a new shared commitment between England’s 145,000 Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), which will encourage AHP to provide innovation in the health and care system.

The new report ‘Allied Health Professions into Action‘ has bought together the opinions of the 3rd largest workforce in the health and care system, including dieticians, chiropodists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, paramedics, art therapists and speech and language therapists. The report sets out how 12 AHP groups across England has given greater involvement in Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) presently being drawn up across the country.

The main aim of the new guidance is to provide a framework for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), provider organisations, local authorities and health leaders to fully utilise and involve AHPs in STPs programmes and the delivery of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. It offers 53 examples of AHPs working innovatively to drive and support change in the National Health Service.

A collaborative approach has been taken in the development of 'Allied Health Professions into Action‘. AHPs, patients and the general public were requested to give examples of innovative working via an online crowdsourcing platform, ultimately leading to over 16,000 individual contributions from 2,000 people.

The chief allied health professions officer for England, Suzanne Rastrick said that the report “Allied Health Professions into Action” shows a shared commitment to make greater use of the allied health professionals in all aspects of service delivery to support the acceptance of new ways of working across the health and care system and to improve patient care.

The director of the New Care Models Programme, Samantha Jones said that the AHPs will become more important than ever as the NHS continues to transform. AHPs increasing clinical expertise, flexible approach and long experience in multidisciplinary working are precisely what our society's need as they work towards services that focus on helping people to stay well.

A national board will be created to oversee and support delivery of the programme. The board will create monitoring systems and measure the programme’s success by cooperating with agencies such as AHP professional bodies, NHS Digital, Health Education England, NHS Improvement, and Public Health England.

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