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AHPs – a vital piece of the healthcare jigsaw

05 September 2016

Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) can support a change in thinking within the NHS - at Connect we have understood some of the barriers stopping them and invested in removing them.

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I write this whilst travelling North on the East Coast line following my attendance at this afternoon’s meeting of the Regional (London) AHP Advisory Group.

Unsurprisingly, we had complete consensus that the current need for change in our healthcare system could be ameliorated by the greater involvement of AHPs. We identified some of the barriers to our progress, some of which are harder to overcome than others. One lesson we have learnt at Connect is about unhooking clinicians from non-clinical roles and investing in experts in ‘business’ skills – from IT, to business intelligence (data and reporting), workforce planning, project management-led innovation etc.

Four years ago we were smaller, growing more slowly, delivering less complex services but making more errors. Since then, after changing our thinking, clinicians are freed up to see patients (less admin and hassle chasing records, results etc.) and the rest of the business supports the quality and productivity of that work.

I believe that most AHP services, and many other healthcare services, have not maximised their impact. Delivering excellent care is so much more than just great clinicians. We need to stop being so one-eyed and bring in other ‘experts’ in all the necessary elements. It’s less stressful for us, less expensive and wasteful and better for patients.

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