Over 120 unsung heroes of health care have gathered together from across Hertfordshire and west Essex to celebrate the first National Allied Health Professionals Day. The event last week brought together a diverse group of health professionals to share experiences, learn from each other and celebrate the contributions they make to the delivery of high quality health and care.
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) include podiatrists, dietitians, osteopaths, music therapists, physiotherapists, diagnostic radiographers, therapeutic radiographers, speech and language therapists and drama therapists. Although each specialism is very different, Allied Health Professionals are united by their focus on improving people’s health and wellbeing, enhancing their potential to live full and active lives. They treat, diagnose and discharge patients and service users across health, care, housing, education, and the independent and voluntary sectors.
At the event, AHPs talked about ways in which the services they offer can be improved with better partnership working, made new connections and learned how national initiatives could support improvements for Hertfordshire and west Essex patients.
Some of the examples showcased on the day included a ‘Pimp my Zimmer’ walking frame personalisation scheme in Watford, through which occupational therapists twinned primary school pupils with residents of care homes, as well as a successful drama therapy scheme for adults with personality disorders called ‘May Contain Nuts’.
Speakers at the event included Deborah Fielding, Herts and west Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Lead, who thanked the assembled AHPs for their vital contribution to tackling some of society’s biggest health and care challenges and Dr Elizabeth Kendrick, a frailty expert.
Sally Judges from Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust, herself an AHP, helped to organise the event. Sally observed: “It was fantastic to have so many AHPS attending the event. You could feel the energy in the room and the connections made between staff from across organisations on the day should translate into real improvements for patients in our area. All in all, a really successful day which was well received by the staff who attended.”