It was a day to celebrate on Saturday 14 October for all those who work as an allied health professional (AHP) at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership.
There was an annual AHP conference held on Monday 16 October to champion the day, in which Clair Haydon and Toni Stokes led a talk about how to demonstrate value along with a pledge, that the allied health professional community will collectively advocate for one another.
The theme of this year’s AHP conference was #valuingAHPs, and it was an opportunity for all staff to network, connect, learn from one another, and inform the work of the Lead AHPs.
Clair Haydon, Interim lead for AHPs said: “We welcome this day of recognition for allied health professionals, because it shines a light on the good work that our staff do in working across our community.”
“It’s important to champion our various AHPs and the offer they have; that includes taking the responsibility to demonstrate their value and impact. That doesn’t mean every team has to have a range of AHP roles, but that every service we provide should have access to them.”
“But the hope is to diversify multi-disciplinary teams, where a mix of health and care professionals come together to allow for more personalised and intervention-based care.”
As the third largest workforce in the NHS, allied health professionals contribute to high quality care, and better outcomes for the people and populations that they serve.
Gary Flockhart, Director of Nursing opened the conference whilst Joanne Inman, Associate Director of Nursing and Therapies (Mental Health and Learning Disabilities) and Satwinder Lotay, Associate Director of Nursing & Therapies, presented at the start of the day.
Gary said: "The conference was an opportunity for us all to collectively celebrate the work and achievements of allied health professionals. AHPs are part of an amazing team of people who work hard to improve the quality of life of the patients they work with."
There were presentations specific to AHP development both personally and in the organisation, a focus on lived experience and co-production, and market stalls showcasing innovation and workshops, which were highly rated by attendees.
The feedback from the conference was extremely positive, with staff stating the importance of having events and networks to share best practice and to make them feel more valued in their roles, with more opportunities for career progression and professional development.
The feedback also called for greater AHP leadership and better recognition of individual AHP’s unique contributions, and more opportunity to grow the workforce to improve and diversify the clinical offer.
Clair added: “It is very clear that although allied health professionals are often small in number in different services, events such as these are vital in demonstrating the value they add and for strengthening our collective voice in CWP.”