The Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are the third largest workforce in the NHS and consist of 14 different regulated professions.
At Barts Health we employ nearly 1100 AHPs in 11 of the 14 AHP disciplines, including Arts Therapists, Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, Operating Department Practitioners, Orthoptists, Orthotists, Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Radiographers- Diagnostic & Therapeutic, and Speech and Language Therapists.
Our AHPs work across the whole Trust, from theatres, imaging, critical care, the acute adult and paediatric wards to ED and within the local community and schools. They play a key role in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and discharge of patients across their pathway. The holistic approach adopted by AHPs means they provide care throughout the life span of patients, focusing upon prevention, supporting recovery and improved health and well-being to optimize the functional potential of indviduals in all aspects for their life. AHPs offer vital support and self-management strategies to patients living with long term conditions.
Today is National AHPs Day and this year’s theme is Celebrate, Appreciate, Inspire and Connect.
At Barts Health we Celebrate the ethnic diversity of our AHP workforce, 32% of whom come from a BAME background. This is 10% higher than the London AHP average and 20% higher than the national average. However we realise we still have work to do for our AHP workforce to truly represent the communities of East London they serve.
Today we show our gratitude and Appreciation for the ongoing commitment and dedication our AHPs consistently display to patient care. In particular, this year we take time to acknowledge the significant contribution of our AHP workforce to the Covid-19 pandemic response. Whether it was our ODPs working in critical care, our Paediatric acute and community therapists going into acute adult areas, MSK physiotherapists covering the wards and critical care, our Radiographers continuing with vital services in the most challenging of circumstances or our Therapies teams totally changing their working hours all did so unquestioningly with a smile on their face and even dance routines in their feet.
The Barts Health AHPs are committed to increasing our ethnic diversity to reflect our East London community. We are working closely with partners to Inspire the next generation of local AHPs across all our professions.
This year the 11 Barts Health AHP disciplines have come together collaboratively to celebrate AHPs Day. There was a strong desire to Connect across the organisation more than ever before. This will provide a basis to further develop the Barts Health AHP network and identity to collectively work together on shared priorities and opportunities to optimise our contribution to patient care and staff experience. This is an exciting period for the AHPs of Barts Health.