Allied Health Professionals (AHPs): an integral part of the health and care workforce

With over 4 million client contacts every week the AHP workforce of over 170,000 has huge potential to reach out at scale and support the public’s health.  Whether it is signposting people to smoking cessation services or offering brief lifestyle health advice on healthy eating, AHPs are undoubtedly an unsung and instrumental part of the wider public health workforce.

As part of better understanding the contribution AHPs are currently making towards public health efforts, RSPH together with Public Health England conducted a national survey with the support of the 12 AHP professional bodies. Our report (set out below) shows there is both a clear appetite from AHPs as well as the public to have healthy conversations on a whole host of different topics from physical activity to obesity.

Our report illustrates that AHPs are having a significant positive impact on the public’s health – and with further support this could make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the population.

Key findings

  • Almost 9 out of 10 AHPs agreed that their role should include an element of preventing ill health
  • Three quarters of AHPs agree that their role does provide opportunities for healthy conversations
  • This is mirrored by a public willingness to have these conversations with AHPs – almost 9 out of 10 members of the public would trust lifestyle health advice from AHPs.

Key recomendation

  • RSPH believes that AHPs should be given training and support to enable them to have these healthy conversations – both during undergraduate training and as part of Continuing Professional Development.