Linda Hindle is the Deputy Chief Allied Health Professional Officer, working for Public Health England as Lead AHP and Public Health Engagement Lead for the Emergency Services. She introduces the Allied Health Professions hub and explains how the hub's resources aim to support the 14 AHPs in their work to improve the public's health.
I am delighted to see the launch of the Allied Health Professionals Public Health Hub. This virtual space brings together public health strategies, toolkits, resources and case studies relevant to Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) into one, easy to access space.
Its purpose is to enable AHPs to easily locate and access the documents they need to embed public health into their roles and to support them to lead service redesign and contribute to system leadership opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of their local populations. It will also support system leaders to see how AHPs can add value to population health.
Some of my favourite resources on the hub include:
- the recently published toolkit to embed public health into clinical practice
- curricula guidance for AHP pre-registration education
- social prescribing framework for Allied Health Professionals
- Public Health England’s All Our Health framework, a series of resources for health and care professionals working with patients and the population, aimed at preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing
- Everyday Interactions Toolkit which provides impact pathways to enable recording of healthy conversations.
Over the past five years, AHPs have been cited as vanguards of the wider public health workforce. In 2019 the AHP Federation and Public Health England published an impact report of the 2015-18 AHP public health strategy. Our vision was for AHPs to be recognised as an integral part of the public health workforce, with responsibility for designing and delivering improvements to health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities. The impact report reflects on the progress against five goals, including how Higher Education Institutions have embedded public health into curricula, the increased focus on measuring impact of AHP public health interventions and how the profile of AHPs’ contribution to public health has increased, along with stronger strategic connections between AHPs and national public health programmes.
The next stages of our journey will be undertaken as a collaboration across the UK. The UK Allied Health Professions Public Health Strategic Framework published in 2019 provides the roadmap to embed public health into every AHP role and to develop public health leadership skills in AHP professions.
I know that many AHP services are recognising the increasing importance of public health and prevention in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. This hub will be a critical tool to facilitate that journey, both as a one-stop shop for relevant resources and a repository of case studies, which we will continue to add to.
I encourage all AHPs to check out the hub and submit examples from practice, to enable ongoing sharing and learning about the AHP contribution to public health.