Former Chair, Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF)

The Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF) comprises twelve professional bodies representing Allied Health Professionals (AHPs). The AHPF provides collective leadership and representation on common issues that impact its members’ professions.

The AHPF is governed by a board, of which I had the privilege to serve as the first independent Chair (2016-2019). The board is made up of the national Chief Executives and Chairs from each of the twelve-member organisations.

The AHPF Board annually reviews work plans for AHPF Northern Ireland and Scotland, which share the same purpose of collective leadership and accordingly allocates an annual budget for them to deliver their work plan. The AHPF does not have specific arrangements for Wales, where the allied health professions and health scientists have their own statutory and informal arrangements for coordination.

There are 158,000 AHPs working across all health and social care settings including hospitals, people’s homes, clinics, surgeries, the justice system, local authorities, private and voluntary sectors and primary, secondary and tertiary education.

AHPs are the third largest healthcare group in the health service, after doctors and nurses. They focus on consistent, person-centred, preventative and therapeutic care for children and adults. They are accredited and trustworthy professionals performing a crucial function in the NHS and social care. The breadth and depth of AHP skills and reach make them ideally placed to lead and support transformative changes.

The AHPF’s main objectives are:

  • Recognition of the unique contribution of AHPs in improving patient outcomes for adults, delivering on public health including mental health and reducing spiralling costs of services through prevention and more efficient treatment.
  • Seeking clarity on how effective strategic planning will take place following unprecedented structural changes including student funding reforms, apprenticeship developments and uncertainty on student placements.
  • Representation in Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). AHP leaders are critical in this.
  • A new funding settlement for health and social care so people needs can be met.

The Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF) is made up of twelve professional bodies representing Allied Health Professionals (AHPs):

  1. The Association for Music Therapy (BAMT)
  2. The British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT)
  3. British Association of Drama therapists (BADth)
  4. The British Dietetic Association (BDA)
  5. British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO)
  6. British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS)
  7. Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)
  8. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
  9.  The College of Paramedics (CoP)
  10.  Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)
  11. Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR)
  12. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP)