Avril, a HCPC-registered physiotherapist, works in a multi-professional team of AHPs
The theme for AHPs' Day 2023 is 'AHPs in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills'. Professional practice practitioner and AHP Avril Platt gives us an insight into how a team of AHPs all work together.
My name is Avril Platt, I’m a professional practice practitioner at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) and I’m a physiotherapist by background.
I work in a multi-professional Allied Health Professional (AHP) education team alongside an occupational therapist and an operating department theatre practitioner (ODP). AHPs are the third largest clinical group in the NHS, and we are a unique team working alongside each other to support pre and post-registration staff.
The way my team collaborates on a daily basis highlights the importance of each AHP profession individually, as well as the impact we have when we work together.
The impact of a multi-professional team
I have always worked very closely with AHPs both clinically and non-clinically. I very much enjoy this relationship, especially how much we learn from each other and how this benefits the team, the organisation and the service users that AHPs care for.
For example, my occupational therapist colleague is currently supporting me with a long arm practice supervision placement for a physiotherapy learner. In the future, this will grow into direct supervision of learners within our team through leadership style placements. My colleague and I are currently completing a leadership programme that will allow us to manage this.
This endeavour will increase the learner capacity in our organisation whilst also enabling the learners to develop important leadership skills that will help them in future.
Developing the future of AHP education
As well as supporting each other with current practice, our team also works together to improve the future of healthcare by improving our offering for learners. In healthcare in general, we feel that a greater understanding around student placements is needed, as these can look different for each AHP profession and can vary in length and range of exposure.
Recently my ODP colleague and I started working together on developing opportunities for T-Level learners. We are in the early stages of information gathering and learning, considering questions like whether learners at this level should have the opportunity to undertake placements in different AHP professions, or just focus on one area.
Recently we attended a workforce focus group and an NHS Health Education England meeting on these subjects, and we have also been developing links with local colleges to support learning in practice. Cross-profession knowledge-sharing has been extremely valuable, and a major source of information has been the implementations made within the nursing profession already.
There is so much more work to be done to support the development of these new learning opportunities, and we are looking forward to working on it as a team. We know that it will deliver excellent opportunities for learners to gain skilled employment in the AHP professions. And, most importantly, we know that these professionals will go on to deliver excellent care to service users.
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