Ways that Music Therapists can engage with the AHP 'Family'
Each region of the UK has a Chief AHP Officer, and regional AHP groups or teams depending on local structures. Perhaps you could make contact with those close to you (clinically and geographically) and let them know that you are an AHP practicing in their area - especially seek contact with AHPs with whom you share clients in order to establish a multidisciplinary approach.
Take your place in any consultations, AHP service reviews, workforce planning, development of AHP strategies; ask for music therapy to represented in AHP groups where relevant, try where you can to make sure that the voice of the music therapy profession is properly represented within the wider AHP network where you are.
Use AHP strategies and policies to guide and develop your practice, to highlight music therapy as a clinical profession capable of enabling the strategic priorities of the health service to be met.
The Allied Health Professions Federation is an independent body from the NHS which provides collective leadership and representation on common issues which affect its members. Its members are all of the AHP professional bodies, including BAMT, and there are also local bodies such as the AHPFNI and AHPF Scotland.
The Council for AHP Research seeks to develop AHP research and strengthen the professions’ evidence base, and has regional hubs throughout the country.
Use Social Media – Twitter in particular has a lively presence of AHPs and also of local and national AHP groups and Trust teams, and can be an easy way to build engagement with others in your own geographical and clinical areas.
Connections build strength across the health system, and linking with our AHP colleagues will help us as music therapists to work across boundaries and use our skills to contribute to high-quality, patient-centred services throughout the wider health system. We may be smaller in number, but we have a valuable contribution to make - “In dark corners and on edges, that is where gold is found”.