Allied Health Professionals

Who are AHPs?

Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS. They have recognised professional titles that are protected by law. In order to use these professional titles, AHPs must be registered with a regulatory body. Most AHPs are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), with the only exception being Osteopaths who are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOC).

AHP Professions

In England, AHPs comprise of 14 distinct professional groups:

– Art Therapists

– Chiropodists/Podiatrists

– Diagnostic Radiographers

– Dietitians

– Drama Therapists

– Music Therapists

– Occupational Therapists

– Operating Department Practitioners

– Orthoptists

– Osteopaths

– Paramedics

– Physiotherapists

– Prosthetists and Orthotists

– Speech and Language Therapists

-Therapeutic Radiographers

AHPs have a unique contribution to make. In collaboration with the wider healthcare system, they address service delivery challenges and priorities. AHPs provide high quality care to patients and clients across a wide range of care pathways and in variety of settings that include hospitals, community, primary care, local authorities, the independent and charitable sectors, prisons, hospices and schools. More information on AHPs can be found at NHS Health Careers:

Health Education England South East AHP Team

– Rebecca Tyrrell, Regional Head of AHPs, Health Education England, South East

Rebecca worked in Oxfordshire as an NHS Podiatrist for over 20 years with a rewarding career spanning all four pillars of practice: leadership, education, clinical and quality improvement.

In 2014 Rebecca moved to NHS England before joining Health Education England (HEE) in 2017 leading on primary care workforce transformation.

Since 2020 Rebecca has been the Regional Head of AHPs, HEE, directing a workforce programme to ensure an effective supply of AHPs with the right skills in the right place to deliver high quality care across the South East region.

Information about Health Education’s role can be found here.

– Maria Mitchell, AHP Workforce Programme Lead, Health Education England, South East

Maria started her career journey by completing a BSc (Hons) Podiatry at the University of Brighton. She worked in Kent as an NHS Podiatrist for over 12 years and was the musculoskeletal podiatry lead. She worked across the four pillars of practice: leadership, education, clinical and research. She is currently studying for an MPhil at Canterbury Christchurch University and her research is in evaluating the impact of a pre preceptorship on newly qualified AHPs entering the Health and Social Care workplace.

In 2021, Maria joined the South East AHP team at HEE and her main areas of focus are supporting the six AHP faculties across the South East. She will also be leading the workforce programmes for Radiographers, Podiatrists and ODPs across the South East.

– Grace Smith, Regional AHP Workforce Fellow, Health Education England, South East

Grace’s NHS career started as a Band 3 Therapy Assistant within an acute Trust. Dual trained to support OT and Physiotherapy, she was a “triallist” for the now well utilised Band 4 role. Whilst working part time, the Trust supported her to complete the part time BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree programme at the University of Southampton.

Graduating in 2013, Grace specialised in respiratory care with a special interest in Non-Invasive Ventilation and patients with alternative airways (e.g. laryngectomy). Her career then took a less conventional route as she became a Ward Sister on an acute respiratory ward and progressed to Clinical Matron. Working as an AHP in a role traditionally fulfilled by nurses enabled Grace to enhance her clinical, leadership, educational and operational knowledge and skills.

In October 2021, Grace joined HEE SE AHP team leading on supporting the regional implementation of the AHP Support Worker programme, linking with apprenticeships and widening participation/careers and work experience. She is keen to maintain her support worker roots, promoting the skills and value this key workforce brings our patients.

– Forida Yeasmin, Project Team Manager, Health Education England, South East

– Beth Gates, Project Support Coordinator, Health Education England, South East

If you would like to contact the South East AHP team, please email


South East AHP Workforce Programme

Our regional aim is to deliver an effective supply of AHPs, supporting the deployment and development of this workforce. We will focus on retention of current staff as well as growing capacity through education and training. We keep diversity and inclusion, equality and equity at the heart of everything we do.

Our regional AHP programme priorities for 2021/2022 aim to:

  • Build and strengthen the AHP leadership across the region.
  • Support the development of the AHP faculties to ensure sustainability and growth for all 14 AHPs.
  • Develop and retain our AHPs and support workforce to ensure they are supported to realise their full potential.

Key goals for the AHP programme in 2021/22 are to deliver a clinical placement expansion programme for AHPs, appoint and support four AHP clinical education improvement fellows, and bridge the gap between education and employment through early careers support.

More information can be found in the HEE South East Region Delivery Plan 2021/22.


Allied Health Professionals Retention:

Are you interested in Allied Health Professionals retention? Join our national Retention Bitesize Learning Webinars to find out more!

For more information and dates please click the link below.