Allied Health Professionals (AHP) make up a large number of the NHS workforce across the UK, but many people aren’t sure who they are or what they do. We spoke with Hillary Hall, Allied Health Professionals Lead for Our Dorset, about her role, and how she’s helping to highlight the varied and important work that AHPs do in Dorset.

“As the newly appointed Dorset Integrated Care System Allied Health Professionals Lead, I’ve been impressed by the warm welcome I’ve experienced over the last couple of months.

“For those of you that aren’t aware, the Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are a range of careers that, collectively, make up the third largest workforce in health and care in the country. Here in Dorset, AHPs include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dieticians, speech therapists, orthotists, dieticians, paramedics, radiographers and podiatrists – to name a few!

“AHPs work within the Our Dorset ICS across many different services within hospitals and community and primary care services, as well as social services, for all ages and across the NHS and our local authorities.

“If we can utilise the skills that AHPs bring effectively across Our Dorset, local people will benefit from:

  • A happier, healthier community, allowing individuals greater control of their own health, care and wellbeing
  • Being able to see the right person from the beginning of care, when and where they need to
  • Everyone involved in an individual’s care, including the patient, their family and carers, working together to address an individual’s needs in the best way possible
  • The same level of service, no matter where care is provided

“AHPs will help people in Dorset stay well and provide high quality, joined-up, and safe services, when they’re needed. We’ll be involved in providing care closer to people’s homes, and will use new technology and digital developments to help transform health and care.

“Much of my time over my first few months in this role has been spent getting to know the AHPs in Dorset, and listening to them describe the amazing work they’re involved in, as well as learning more about the challenges they face.

“One of the highlights for me so far has been attending and running a stand at an Our Dorset staff engagement event, which took place at the end of November. I had the opportunity to meet some enthusiastic and motivated frontline AHPs, which was a great experience.

“I’ve also been focusing on improving communication between AHPs, and have been developing a forum through which we can collectively work to help influence service transformations in Dorset.

“2019 is going to be a very exciting year for health and care in Dorset, and we are looking forward to ensuring AHPs play a significant role in improvements to services for the residents of Dorset.”