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Service designAug 19, 2022

Physios and other AHPs will deliver services closer to people's homes in a 'revolution' in Wales

Physiotherapists and other allied health professionals (AHPs) will be expected to deliver rehabilitation services ‘closer to home’ for patients in Wales. The aspiration is spelled out by physiotherapist Claire Madsen in a forward to document published earlier this week (15 August) by Health Education and Improvement Wales’ (HEIW). It is titled HEIW’s AHP Transformation Programme Annual Report 2021-2022.

Ms Madsen, a director of therapies, is and one of two co-chairs at the AHP Transformation Programme Board, along with a director of nursing, Lisa Llewelyn. They explain that the annual report, the first of its kind to be published, brings the Looking Forward Together Framework for AHPs ‘to life’ in health and social care settings.

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The way in which AHPs interact with people and improve health 'will be revolutionised'

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'Compassionate care'

‘The framework lays out some high-level ambitions for the AHPs, which will transform the way staff work, the places where people access care from AHPs, and the structure of training to create vibrant services that deliver high value to the people who rely on them,' the two co-chairs note.

‘There has been progress [in 2021] developing key workstreams that will enhance the contribution of AHPs in Wales, bringing expertise and compassionate care closer to home for people needing support with rehabilitation or living with dementia,' they add.

Clinical leadership fellow Ross Nowell's remit

[My project] will promote AHPs as leaders in rehabilitation and recovery teams, and help AHPs develop and create new services, working collaboratively with people and workforce outside NHS Wales [Ross Nowell]

Ross Nowell, a clinical specialist physiotherapist in rehabilitation, has been based with the transformation programme team since last September, when he received a Welsh clinical leadership fellowship. Mr Nowell, who previously worked for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, has a nationwide remit is to update the rehabilitation and recovery framework and guidance.

Asked to explain what impact his project will have on AHP practice, Mr Nowell replied: ‘It will promote rehabilitation and recovery as a speciality and increase the numbers of AHPs working in this area. It will promote AHPs as leaders in rehabilitation and recovery teams, and help AHPs develop and create new services, working collaboratively with people and workforce outside NHS Wales.’

Service users and care recipients could look forward to having improved access to ‘rehabilitation and recovery options close to home’, he added. ‘People won’t have to tell their story more than once and will access a seamless service.’

Priorities for 2002-2023: a 'revolution' in AHP practice promised

  • the current clinical fellows will complete their year-long work programmes, and two new clinical fellowships will begin. The new fellows will continue the work around rehabilitation and a new project will focus on supporting children in the early years.
  • the programme will begin implementing the UK AHPs Public Health Strategic Framework, ‘revolutionising’ how AHPs interact with people and helping to improve the health and wellbeing of people and communities  
  • a new director is being recruited to lead the team 
  • the programme will develop new tools to raise the profile of AHPs, encouraging people to train as AHPs and boost the careers of the existing workforce
  • events to ‘address issues affecting people delivering care across health and social care services in Wales’ will be held

To see the report in full, visit: https://heiw.nhs.wales/files/ahp-annual-report-2021-22

The AHPs Transformation Programme was set up to implement the 10-year vision described in the AHPs Framework: Looking Forward Together, which was published in 2019. Since April 2021, HEIW has led the programme.

For more information about HEIW, visit: www.heiw.nhs.wales or www.aagic.gig.cymru

Author: Ian A McMillan
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