Trust celebrates AHP day
Staff at our Trust joined forces to celebrate the work of allied health professionals (AHPs), and to highlight their importance to patient care.
National AHP Day was marked around the country today (Monday, 14 October). Colleagues across WSFT, caring for patients at the West Suffolk and Newmarket Community hospitals and in community services are aiming to raise awareness of their many and varied roles.
Allied health professionals are the second largest group in the healthcare workforce*. The Trust has nine of the 14 AHPs represented on its staff, working with people from the start of their lives to their final days. These clinicians fulfil varied roles requiring lengthy training and qualifications, and all their work is focused on helping people achieve the best quality of life they can. AHPs working for or with WSFT include:
- dietitians – assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutritional problems
- occupational therapists – work with people who have problems resulting from physical, mental, social or developmental difficulties to enable them to return to or optimise participation in everyday activities
- operating department practitioners – support patients at every stage of their care when they have an operation
- orthoptists – experts in diagnosing and managing eye conditions that affect eye movements, visual development or the way eyes work together
- paramedics – senior ambulance service staff who provide care in a range of emergency and non-emergency situations
- physiotherapists – work with people to help with a range of problems which affect movement using exercise, massage and other techniques to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being
- podiatrists – provide comprehensive foot care for patients with a wide range of conditions
- radiographers – use the latest technology to look inside the body in different ways to produce high quality images and reports for diagnosis of disease and conditions
- speech and language therapists – help people overcome or adapt to a vast array of disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing.
Bake-off judges deliberating which of the cakes that cater for people with intolerances and allergies should be crowned winner.
Integrated therapies manager Gylda Nunn said: “This is an opportunity for AHPs to collaborate locally and nationally to show what they do within the NHS and jointly with other services. Integrated working is key to the role of AHPs, assessing the needs of individual patients and working across the health and social care system to ensure we provide the best, most appropriate care.”
Activities at the WSFT to mark AHP Day include interactive displays to underline how a patient might experience care provided by each AHP on their journey through the Trust, both in the hospital and community. The dietitians challenged colleagues to create cakes that would be suitable for people with different intolerances or allergies, in a bake-off competition. In a closely contested competition, with one point in it, the dietitians won with their low FODMAP** cake for people with IBS and other digestive issues. A patient and public focused information stand was also at the front of the hospital.
WSFT's dietitians won the bake-off competition with a low FODMAP cake.
Allied health professionals are a key part of the WSFT’s #BeKnown recruitment campaign, and there are currently vacancies for AHPs to join teams at the hospital and in the community: visit https://beknown.wsh.nhs.uk/.
*Source – NHS England: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ahp/ahps-day/
** FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo di mono saccharides and polyols.
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