In November 2020 HEE South East recruited two AHP fellows for a 6 month fellowship:
Toni King undertook this 6 month secondment to the Health Education South East Region AHP Clinical Fellow role between November 2020 and April 2021. She completed this role as part of her development to become a Consultant Occupational Therapist in Mental Health, and greatly enjoyed the opportunities to explore the development of a range of senior roles available to Allied Health Professionals working in mental health.
Sarah Paterson was seconded to the South East Region AHP Clinical Fellow role from November 2020 to April 2021 as part of a development programme to become a Consultant Physiotherapist in Stroke and Neurology. Through this work she had opportunity to network with senior clinicians and workforce leads to understand more about how organisations work within the System and the relevance of this for professional development in rehabilitation.
Approved/Responsible Clinician Roles: Exploring the Gap for Occupational Therapy
Purpose: This report explores the gap between the national aspiration to increase the number of Occupational Therapists in Multi-Professional Approved Clinician roles and the current low uptake. The full report is supplemented by an executive summary and poster.
Method: An exploration of workforce data and a survey of Occupational Therapists in the South East provided descriptive data and qualitative themes. These were complimented by individual interviews and a focus group with Occupational Therapists who work in aligned roles.
Findings: Occupational Therapists are positive about and interested to know more about this role. Barriers for Occupational Therapists are couched in whole workforce readiness – ie there are limited opportunities for Occupational Therapists to work in the upper career pathway, reducing the pool from which senior clinical leaders can develop.
Value: This is the first paper to explore the views of Occupational Therapists about the MPAC role. It offers a number of recommendations which are positioned upstream from the current HEE implementation guidance.
Production: This study was completed by Toni King (Health Education England Allied Health Professions Clinical Fellow) in the South East under the guidance of Rebecca Tyrell (HEE Mental Health Advisor South East) and Lucy Locks (HEE Mental Health Advisor South East).
Spotlight on Allied Health Professionals in Advanced and Consultant Practice
Purpose: This report collates the variety and value of Allied Health Professionals (AHP) in Advanced and Consultant Practice roles in order to support AHP Leads advocating for changes in workforce. The report focuses on Community Rehab and Ageing Well plus Mental Health & Learning Disability – both seen as ‘less acute’ therefore further from a traditional medical approach where the advanced practice role has a clearer identity.
Method: Quality improvement methodology was used to understand the gap the report needed to address, followed by interviews with forty AHP Advanced & Consultant practitioners. As part of the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle information from practitioners and Trusts, plus tools developed by the authors were shared at an HEE South-East webinar with encouragement to trial and feedback to evolve the process further.
Findings: Across both settings Advanced and Consultant AHPs have found formalised education routes to be variable in applicability and availability and access to peer support and mentorship has been limited. The addition of the bio-psycho-social ‘layer’ when describing advanced practice enables the added-value of AHPs to be recognised as an advanced skill and the variety of case studies provided were a valued resource for webinar attendees. Tools developed to evaluate the impact of roles, templates and guidance undertaken by other Trusts were welcomed indicating that the appetite and need for this work is consistently high. Infrastructure challenges in developing advanced and consultant roles for AHPs are consistently described and have specific nuances.
Value: This report constitutes the first contribution toward developing resources to support the development of AHP Advanced and Consultant roles in non-acute settings.
Production: This study was completed by Sarah Paterson and Toni King, HEE south east(SE) Regional AHP Clinical Fellows-November2020-April 2021. In addition to the final report, there is a summarised Power Point for AHP Leads, poster, 3 webinar recordings and 5 ‘bundles’ which include, templates for tools developed, workforce strategies and job descriptions.
Full reports and documents linked below:
Documents and resources: