This month, we will see the launch of the first UK wide AHP public health strategic framework which has been jointly produced by the AHP professional bodies and the 4 nations of the UK.
This strategic framework sets out our vision for the role of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in public health over the next five years, along with the goals we aim to achieve to realise the vision. It is intended to help AHPs, as well professional bodies and partner organisations, to further develop our role in public health, share best practice with colleagues and partners and ultimately embed preventative healthcare across all our work.
The Allied Health Professions have been identified as trailblazers within the wider public health workforce agenda, demonstrating our public health contribution and profile. We have identified some excellent examples of AHP-led public health initiatives across the life course, from helping children to have the best start in life to falls prevention for older adults. We now need to progress to support and enable AHPs to improve population health and reduce inequalities and ensure that public health becomes our core way of working over the next 5 years.
Each nation of the UK has similar public health priorities such as early years health, supporting healthy lifestyles, self-management and parity of esteem between physical and mental health; and therefore it makes sense for us to collaborate on our approach to addressing them.
Our shared vision is that public health will be a core element of all AHP roles and the impact of AHPs on the population's health and reducing health inequalities will be increasingly recognised.
1.) Developing the AHP workforce: The AHP workforce will have the skills, knowledge and behaviours to promote, improve and protect the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations.
2.) Demonstrating Impact: AHPs will be able to demonstrate their contribution to improved population level health outcomes through robust evaluation and research.
3.) Increasing the profile of the AHP public health role: AHPs will be recognised as valuable public health experts through ongoing profile raising of the AHP contribution to public health.
4.) Strategic connections and leadership: Effective relationships will exist between AHPs and system leaders at local and national levels to make best use of AHPs to improve public health and reduce health inequalities.
5.) Health and wellbeing of the workforce: The expertise of AHPs will be used to protect and improve the health and well-being of the health and care workforce.
AHP professional bodies and other supporting organisations will work together to realise these goals over the next 5 years. Each of the collaborating partners of this document will provide strategic leadership to oversee the implementation of this strategic framework within their area of influence and, where appropriate we will integrate actions across the partner organisations.
One of our immediate priorities is to make it easier for AHPs to share good practice in relation to their public health work and to easily find public health related resources. To address this we are working with the Royal Society for Public Health to develop an AHP public health resource hub which will be available by the autumn.
We pledge to work together and share learning wherever and whenever it makes sense to do so.
We call on AHPs to continue to embed public health within their roles, services and partnerships.