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

– Diagnostic Radiographers

– Dietitians

– Drama Therapists

– Music Therapists

– Occupational Therapists

– Operating Department Practitioners

– Orthoptists

– Osteopaths

– Paramedics

– Physiotherapists

– Podiatrists

– 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.

– Claire Horsfield, Senior Paramedic Programme and Partnership Manager, Health Education England, South East

– Andy Sharman, Paramedic Workforce Programme Lead, Health Education England, South East

Andy began his career with the NHS in September 1999 working as an Ambulance Care Assistant.   He qualified as an IHCD Ambulance Technician in July 2001 and following completion of his IHCD Paramedic training, qualified as a Paramedic in January 2006.  Following his first tentative steps into higher education he graduated from St Georges University of London with an Undergraduate Diploma in Health Care Practice and moved into a role as a Specialist Paramedic in Urgent and Emergency Care in 2010.  In 2013, he ventured into the world of post graduate study following a successful application for a place within Cohort 1 of the NHS Leadership Academy/Open University Mary Seacole Clinical Leadership Programme obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership in 2014.

In November 2014, Andy began a 15-month secondment to the College of Paramedics as the paramedic prescribing project officer within the NHS England Allied Health Professions Medicine Project, before moving into a further 12-month secondment as the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s Clinical Fellow within Health Education England (HEE). In April 2017 he entered the world of workforce planning beginning a 12-month fixed term contract as a National Workforce Planner within Health Education England, with a portfolio including all AHPs, Urgent and Emergency Care and Apprenticeships. In May 2018 Andy joined the HEE Wessex HIOW Primary Care Training Hubs team as the Primary Care Learning Environment Lead for Allied Health Professionals and Physician Associates. His portfolio included developing student placements in primary care and the development and implementation multi-professional advanced practice and first contact practice in primary care.

Andy is passionate about professionalism and is an enthusiastic advocate for the unique skills, knowledge, and experience that Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) bring to the NHS. He firmly believes that collaborative working across all providers of health and social care will allow the development of new ways of working to improve clinical care and enrich patient experiences across the entire NHS and wider health and social care community.

Andy joined the SE regional AHP Team in February 2022.

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

– Tom Tuckey, Project Support Officer, 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, ensuring robust deployment and development of staff, whilst placing a focus on the retention, diversity & inclusion of the workforce, across the whole AHP community, to ensure the South East has the right workforce with the right skills in the right place to deliver high quality care by 2024.

Our regional AHP programme priorities for 2022/2023 aim to:

  • Build and strengthen the AHP leadership across the region.
  • Support the sustainability of the AHP Faculties to ensure growth of all Allied Health Professionals.
  • Develop and transform our ‘AHP Community’, supporting ICS workforce plans with new ways of working and workforce redesign.

More information can be found in the HEE South East Regional Delivery Plan 2022-2023



ODP Workforce Programme Stakeholder Engagement

The South East Allied Health Professions team are leading a programme of work to support the workforce challenges around the supply of ODPs. This webinar will outline the strategic objectives of the programme and we would value your feedback to help us shape the future direction of this work.

Please use the link to view the Jamboard and share your opinions with us – the Jamboard will be available until 18/11/22.

ODP Workforce Stakeholder Engagement Jamboard

Please find below a copy of the slides from the ODP Stakeholder event.