Allied Health Professional (AHP) Day

To mark the first Allied Health Professionals (AHP’s) day on 15 October clinicians from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be holding events in Worthing and Crawley to highlight the crucial and often unsung role Allied Health Professionals play in the NHS. 

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to all ages in Sussex and children and young people in Hampshire. The Trust employs Allied Health Professionals to support the vital services offered in these communities. 

The third largest workforce in the NHS, AHPs are made up of 13 professional disciplines: art, drama and music therapists, chiropodists / podiatrists, dieticians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetics, speech and language therapists and radiographers. Working with everyone who accesses the NHS from babies to the elderly, allied health professionals provide a huge range of services to assess, treat, diagnose and discharge patients. 

Gemma Dorer, Sussex Partnership’s Professional Lead Occupational Therapist for West Sussex, will be at Worthing Library between 10am and 1pm on Monday 15 October sharing information about the difference AHPs can make in mental and physical health services. Gemma will also be joined by a member of staff from telecare. Telecare  provide technological solutions to help people stay living independently and safely at home. AHP day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the work AHPs do in the NHS. 

Gemma explains: ‘As an Occupational Therapist and member of the Allied Health Professional team at Sussex Partnership I welcome the opportunity to talk about what we do! As well as providing information and talking to people about the support they can receive and about careers in the various disciplines,  will be hosting a quiz at the library to see what people really know about us and hopefully educate people who might not know much about AHPs. We’re really grateful to Worthing library for letting us host our event there and to our colleagues in Speech and Language Therapy and from Telecare who will be joining us on the day. 

“Jane Brothers, Lead Occupational Therapist for Western Hospitals, will be attending with AHP colleagues form Worthing Hospital to demonstrate our collaboration between AHPs across different services.

“We know that when caring for a patient who is experiencing difficulties with their mental health it is vital to look at them as a whole person and not just their illness or condition. AHPs bring a unique perspective to healthcare and we can assess and help them find creative solutions to work alongside their medical treatment.” 

In Crawley, Occupational Therapists Isobel Clarke, Lawrence Wintergold and Steven Rowley will be at Crawley Library 10am – 1pm to host an awareness and information event about the work of Allied Health Professionals. 

This inaugural AHP day came about as a result of Rachael Brandreth, a dietitian, and Carrie Biddle, a speech and language therapist both from Cornwall talking about their roles and the roles of AHP’s within healthcare. Keen to celebrate their profession, they took to twitter and within 24 hours had representatives from all the AHP professions signed up to celebrate an appreciation and awareness day on 15 October. 

You can keep an eye on what’s going on for AHP day by following @withoutstigma, Sussex Partnership’s twitter account or following the hashtag #AHPsDay also on twitter.