Allied Health Professionals
Strategic collaboration and promotion of AHP workforce within Lincolnshire ICS, to enable our population to start well, live well and age well in Lincolnshire.
The term Allied Health Professionals represents 15 different occupations:
- Art Therapist
- Drama Therapist
- Music Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Operating Department Practitioners
- Prosthetists and Orthotists
- Diagnostic Radiographers
- Therapeutic Radiographers
- Speech and Language Therapists
AHPs are the third largest workforce in the NHS and provide system-wide care to assess, treat, diagnose, and discharge patients across all organisations. AHPs are involved in managing patients’ care of all ages by using a holistic approach, to start well, live well and age well.
The Lincolnshire AHP council comprises Chief Allied Health Professionals or senior AHP representatives from each of the partner organisations within Lincolnshire. The Council is an expert reference group for the ICS offering an AHP perspective or solutions to support system priorities. We communicate at National, Regional, and local levels, participating in National projects relevant to Lincolnshire. The Council can link between local people, local AHPs, the Integrated Care Board (ICB), NHS England and the Professional bodies. Our strategic goals are:
- To strengthen the AHP profile.
- Demonstrate the value that the AHP workforce can offer.
- Deliver quality care and improve health and well-being.
- Leadership and talent management.
- Deliver quality and evidence-based research.
- Sustainability and the green agenda.
- Retain our workforce.
- Develop our Workforce.
- Value our workforce.
- To ensure quality educational opportunities and a workforce that can adapt to meet future needs.
What is the AHP Faculty?
The Lincolnshire Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Faculty is a group of health, social care, education, and training providers that formally work together across the Lincolnshire Integrated Care System (ICS).
The AHP Faculty reports to the ICB and the AHP Council, which is made up of members from the University of Lincoln, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lincolnshire Community Health Services Trust and PIVO organisation’s such as St Barnabas Hospice.
Our aim is to facilitate system-wide working across the ICS wherever AHPs are to be found.
The AHP Faculty works collaboratively to ensure the pipeline of AHP professionals continues to thrive and grow. We do this by focusing on our AHP workforce through partnerships and projects.
We work to support the following important aspects of Allied Health Professionals’ career journeys:
Development, coordination, and expansion of clinical placements
Return to practice.
For further information: youtu.be/Qsg-XcbZ8ME - National Tube video what are AHP Faculties
Valuing our People
A system wide action group has commenced looking at a specific project aimed at bringing value to the AHP workforce, the project the group is looking at International recruited staff experience systemwide in Lincolnshire.
The Project is to look to create workshops system wide to capture the experience of Internationally trained and recruited staff.
From the workshops findings, the aim of the group is to improve recruitment, onboarding, and pastoral care for Internationally trained and recruited staff system wide by making recommendations to improve the offer system wide. The project aligns with the strategic aims of the AHP faculty.
Developing our People
The developing and growing our workforce action group, are scoping a system wide rotational post to help bring new skills and experiences to our AHP workforce by enhancing career development and allowing AHPs to gain experience in other areas within the Lincolnshire system, the group will be formulated to scope out the possibilities of the concept.
This exciting project work will look to bring new opportunities for continued and ongoing development across the system.
Retaining our People
Retaining our people action group, are looking at the possibility of having a legacy mentor system wide in Lincolnshire, to help coach, mentor and support preceptorships, placements, and rotations.
The group is made up of staff across UHLT, LCHS, LPHT and St Barnabas organisations.
The group is to seek to scope out the possibility of having a Legacy mentor for the AHP profession's systemwide in Lincolnshire to help support the development and retention of AHP staff in Lincolnshire.
There is a national focus on the level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship and the level 5 Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship. The work carried out nationally by HEE will result in a provider framework for employers and HEE state that this will ensure:
- High quality patient care, through education focussed on patient needs and care pathways,
- Clearer education pathways for allied health support workers, and progress on to further education opportunities without barriers,
- Consistent education provision through alignment with relevant competency frameworks, and,
- Development of occupation and/or profession specific Assistant Practitioner apprenticeships in response to employer demand.
- We have a sub-group within the faculty looking closely at apprenticeships across Humber and North Yorkshire who meet regularly
Within our AHP community we see racial inequality in the underrepresentation of minority ethnicities in our AHP workforce, our current ambition for our AHP workforce within Lincolnshire is to increase diversity amongst our 14 AHP profession, provide an inclusive environment in order to meet the needs of the population we serve.
AHP Diversity video - https://vimeo.com/901563145
Return to practice.
Health Education England (HEE) HCPC Return to Practice Programme supports AHP who have been out of practice for 2 or more years or those who did not register within 5 years of qualifying. The programme will support the returnees through their period of learning/practice requirement (between 30- and 60-days dependent on years out of practice) and support with undertaking supervised practice.
Those looking to return to practice can use the following form to express their interest in the programme.
Funding is available but you must register on the HEE return to practice programme. HEE will pay up to £800 to the returner to support their return to practice and eligible organisations that hosts a returner can receive up to £500. For more information please visit Health Education England.
Recruitment and Retention
To increase the AHP workforce, we must improve our recruitment and retention across Lincolnshire. We are collecting data on our current AHP workforce and the skill gaps we must determine our future workforce needs. We are looking into our development and progression opportunities for AHPs in Lincolnshire compared with regional and National opportunities. We are working with our colleagues in HEE to implement a preceptorship programme across the region.
We want to make more people aware of the AHP profession, we regularly attend careers fair across Lincolnshire. Please get in contact if we can help.
Please see some useful documents below:
The ‘We are the NHS; People Plan 2020/2021’ encourages recruitment internationally but recognises the need for this process to be ethical.
One of our key aims is to grow our workforce however we don’t want to forget the person behind the process. We are currently working with our international recruitment sub-group to recognise the challenges and barriers the person may face, to make positive changes to our process. We are learning from the experiences of previously internationally recruited AHPs to grow and improve our practice.
AHP Support workers are part of the un-registered workforce and work alongside registered AHPs to provide patient care. HEE produced the Allied Health Professions’ Support Worker Competency, Education, and Career Development Framework and we are working towards implementing this across Lincolnshire alongside our regional and National colleagues.
We meet regularly with our Faculty Support Workforce sub-group to understand the challenges faced in implementing this framework and supporting our support workforce to develop in their role. For more information about the framework visit Health Education England
Research and Innovation
Following the launch of the new AHP Strategy for England, looking to the future we will be looking more in depth into research and innovation, including the Allied Health Professions’ Research and Innovation Strategy for England HEE Allied Health Professions Research and Innovation Strategy.
Following the launch of the new AHP Strategy for England, looking to the future we will be looking more in depth into greener AHPs.
Equality and Diversity
Following the launch of the new AHP Strategy for England, looking to the future we will be looking more in depth into equality and diversity.
For more information visit NHS England’s Allied Health Professional webpage.