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What do you do when you have been informally told that even though the Director of Clinical Services job specification states RGN or AHP but the hiring managers have informed recruitment they are actively only considering/hiring nurses for these roles?
This is a great post. Thank you
Paramedic- quickest growing AHP Profession. Much to offer.
As an Independent Mental Health Advocate and Advisor you are obliged to keep up to date with new Laws Legislation, Welfare Benefits are just a few items to mention.
I would receive monthly drug bulletins from the Head of Pharmacy at the Maudley Hospital, these were past on to the Psychiatrist I worked with. GPS Solicitors, Psychiatrist referred many of their patients to me, where the families were suffering hardship, due to Welfare Problems be it money or emotional.
The starting point was visit, the next usual step was they usually had no welfare benefits, or a child was having to care for a mother and father.
The third step apply for Welfare Benefits,and set up a Crisis Contact with Me.
The family I refer consisted of a father who suffered with onset Schizophrena, his wife was blind, they had three boys and one girl of school age. The daughter cared for the entire family. A bus pass was arranged by me, eventually after discussions with the Psychiatrist it was agreed the girl now of working age, should have the opportunity to work.
This young woman was found a very good work placement, after I contacted the appropriate person in a position to offer her employment.
The medication was arranged on a daily basis in a simple way, that would allow easy self administering. The young woman gas a life, and now married.
I will give you another example a Bipolar sufferer, lived in a DYSO accommodation scheme, part rent, part mortgage. The mortgage became to high due to interest rates, a visit to the Mortgage Company agreed a lower repayment.
To be a successful Independent Mental Health Advocate you really need direct access to the patient's Psychiatrist and their GP.
I contacted the Psychiatrist on a daily, who was willing to take referrals directly from me, it was often never necessary to place them into the system, direct access saved time, and lives.
Mental Health is the most difficult to manage, and only experienced individuals like me can offer the real package, of course there are others but few and far between.
Thanks very much for writing this blog and starting such an interesting conversation. The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and I are delighted to hear someone giving a cheer for AHPs! Your points about some of the hugely important work done by AHPs, including speech and language therapists, are very well made, as are your suggestions for the work that needs to be done in the future.
As you well know, there is a real challenge involved in making sure the voice of ‘smaller’ health professions are heard within the health and social care system – but it is a challenge that the RCSLT and others are resolutely focused on. As a member of the Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF), we fully support Anne’s remarks above on behalf of the AHPF.
We are also working hard to make sure that the critical link between clinical practice and leadership is strengthened. I know from my own clinical practice just how valuable the ‘frontline’ perspective is and will remain to be for those in leadership roles, and you are absolutely right that there are particular challenges for speech and language therapists who want to balance leadership and clinical practice.
Again, thank you for starting this conversation and highlighting the critical work that AHPs do throughout the health and social care system.
David very clearly sums up the role of AHPs and the positive impact that they have upon patient care. He highlights many of the best practice examples that underpin the need for AHPs to be a prominent voice in the development of integrated patient pathways and clearly signposts the biggest problem in the system.
The phrase ‘doctors and nurses’ describe the overarching issue. Where are AHPs in the decision making about the whole system and in the redesign of care pathways? It is a truism that you don’t know what you don’t know. Therefore without a truly multi-professional approach to decision making there is a risk that the patient benefits provided by increased use of AHPs may be overlooked.
For example we still see services where the therapy component of the patient care is a bolt on after thought rather than the key component of the pathway.
Liz Mowbray in her response states a solution in the need for more AHPs in board level roles. The Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF) also strongly endorses this opinion and we believe that there is a need for guidance if not specific instruction to both CCGs and service providers to this effect.
With our ageing population and a continuing restrained fiscal climate we need to radically rethink our approach to health and care to truly put the patient and the public in charge of their own health with the most appropriate sustainable support. AHPs will be key to that change therefore we not only need to build AHP presence to deliver services in the way that we know and that David has described but to put AHPs centre stage in the reshaped future model of care.
Chair of Allied Health Professions Federation
The Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF) provides collective leadership and representation on common issues that impact on its member professions. The overall purpose of the AHPF is to promote inter-professional working enabling Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to provide high quality care for patients and their carers across the whole of the health and social care sectors.
All i can do is reiterate that AHPS have nothing but major clinical respect from me as they are integral to the multidisciplinary care we offer to older, frailer patients with complex needs. And i feel sure that other medics working in areas where rehabilitation and interdisciplinary approaches are required such as stroke medicine, care of patients with hip fracture, neuro-rehabilitation or integrated community rehab/intermediate care teams/virtual wards/community hospitals share the same regard for what you do. The low profile is more to do with the dominance of doctors in terms of professional power and status, of nurses in terms of sheer numbers and the fact that so many of them leave clinical practice to go into organisational management/leadership including board and regional level roles and so have a strong voice and just the way our media and politicians are completely reductionist in the way they represent health care as either being about heroic high tech cutting edge medical interventionalism/or slagging off GPs for not being available enough and being "overpaid" or nurses being either "caring angels" or neglectful and not up the standards of "matron with her beady eye who would spot dust under a bed at 100 yards". Its completely unhelpful. But i do think that AHP organisations could be more proactive in their messaging. If we take two simple examples. One is the constant concern from the public and regulators/ombudsman/campaigning groups about discharge of older people from hospital - in which OTs and PTs and AHPs in community teams have an absolutely vital role. A second is the even greater concern about poor nutrition and nutritional support for older people in hospital. We get celebrity chefs trotting out their ideas for menus. And yes indeed both BAPEN and a coalition hosted by AGe UK of several players in the dietetics and nutrition field are trying to highlight solutions, but in the lay media, you would hardly know that OTs or dieticians existed or what they did. I think thats a real shame. They are completely undervalued. Hence my writing the blog - which does seem to have struck a chord as i have never had one of my blogs get so many comments, likes or re-tweets