New Support and Appreciation for Allied Health Professionals through the AHP Hub
The coronavirus outbreak has changed many things but one interesting result is that it has shone a bright light on Allied Health Professionals (AHPs). All children know the roles of doctor and nurse but how many have heard of osteopaths, physiotherapists, radiographers or occupational therapists?
As many AHP services have paused during the pandemic, we are all feeling their absence.
The Royal Society for Public Health has recently launched an online hub for AHPs. On it, you can read blogs, keep abreast of COVID-related developments, access training and read relevant studies.
The key goal of this new hub is to bring AHPs together and highlight the importance of their roles in public health. Perhaps AHPs have been overlooked in the past, never quite getting the kudos that other medical and healthcare roles might receive.
By bringing their role in public health to the foreground, AHPs can see not only that they’re appreciated, but they can see how they can refocus their work to increase public health impact.
A united effort
AHPs may once have been limited to their specialisms but if you work as one, you’ll probably have long felt that your role extends further. A prime example is the Love Activity Hate Exercise campaign created by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Through this campaign, physiotherapists were encouraged to talk to patients about the role of movement in their lives and health, seeing past the term ‘exercise’ and instead embracing ‘activity’.
This is just one example of how AHPs contribute to public health and prevention but there are countless others. However, previously, AHPs have seldom been drawn into the public health sphere or provided with the support and training to have a greater impact.
That’s all set to change.
The AHP Public Health Framework, stretching from 2019 to 2024, identifies how AHPs are perfectly positioned to improve the health and wellbeing of the general public.
Traditionally, western medical and healthcare have been focused on treating health issues as they arise. While this is undoubtedly imperative, prevention is beginning to take a more central position. We all know that prevention is better than a cure and this is exactly where AHPs are strides ahead.
Preventing ill health and maximising good health and wellness has become a united aim for AHPs and public health bodies across all four UK countries.
The AHP hub
‘Over the next five years we’d like to see public health and prevention firmly embedded into the roles of all AHPs and better career pathways for those wanting to work in public health roles.’ Public Health England
After realising that AHPs, the third-largest workforce in the NHS, have been chronically underutilised, there’s been somewhat of a call-to-arms. This action plan outlines how and why AHPs are the key to transforming the health and welfare of the public as well as being able to reduce the stress on GPs and urgent care centres.
The AHP hub is a wealth of resources and if you work in one of the AHP roles, you can read fascinating case studies, blogs and access training information. Case studies are particularly useful as they offer a clear way of seeing just how vital your role is and provide ideas of how you can impact public health.
E-learning programmes can also be found through the new AHP hub, such as the Embedding Public Health into Clinical Services programme. Courses such as this one help AHPs re-orientate their practices towards not just treatment, but prevention too.
You can also access the Facebook group, AHPs4PH. This group is a large community of AHPs looking to expand their public health impact.
The hub also gives you access to a new blog which has been created to keep AHPs updated with public health news and articles to help them engage more deeply with it. It’s not as great as this blog of course, but everyone’s got to start somewhere!
It’s time for AHPs to shine
You know it, we know it; AHPs do tremendously valuable work through treatments as well as listening to patients and offering wider advice. Now that they’re being more appreciated and drawn into the discussion about public health, it’s truly their time to shine.
By uniting the increasing number of AHP official professions, this incredibly important body of experts will finally be able to provide a greater impact on public health and use their skills fully.
If you’re an AHP, this also means you might find yourself branching out and learning new skills and specialisms. If you need access to the right supplies, check out our products from complementary therapy tools to rehabilitation equipment.