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Developing the role of AHP Support Workers

HEE’s national allied health professions (AHP) support workforce programme has been established to provide national leadership and support on recognising, developing, and expanding the non-registered AHP workforce.

Introducing HEE's AHP Support Workforce Programme

The Allied Health Professions Support Workforce plays an important role in delivering safe and effective care for service users across health and care. We have spoken to members of the AHP workforce, and they have shared their thoughts and concerns with us.  

We need to ensure that our AHP support workforce have the right knowledge and skills, are supported by training and education, and have access to opportunities for career progression. This will ensure that patients, service users and their families and carers have access to a skilled and well-trained workforce.  

We are working collaboratively with employers, NHS England, royal colleges, professional bodies, Trade unions and stakeholders to achieve our programme aims.  

The national AHP Support Workforce have developed this short animation, which provides further information:  

Support workers, senior support workers, assistants and assistant practitioners work in, with and alongside the allied health professions (AHPs), providing high quality, life changing care across a range of acute and community services.

However, from our work with support workers and services across the country we know there is wide variation in their education and training, and how they are deployed.

You can join in on the conversation on social media, by using the hashtag #AHPsupportworkers 

AHP Support Worker Career Portfolio

Document is intended to aid AHP Support Workers throughout their career pathway and also act as a formal record of achievement. It will help clarify role boundaries and allow space for recording formal and informal learning.

Catalogue (learninghub.nhs.uk) - in the Support worker section

1. Patients and service users have access to skilled and consistently well-trained support workers who have a defined role within their team

2. AHP support workers have access to development structures that provide opportunities to follow a richer and more rewarding career pathway

3. Services can address the current variation in support worker roles, banding and progression

4. Support worker roles can be at the heart of improvements in service delivery and transformation, including new models of care.

1. Improve education standards, access and uptake for AHP support workers

2. Grow the AHP support workforce alongside the registered workforce

3. Improve retention of the AHP support workforce and reduce vacancies

4. Improve the diversity of the support workforce.

AHP support workforce programme

The national AHP support workforce programme held a celebration webinar in December 2022 which these visual minutes capture.  AHP support worker voices were at the heart of this event demonstrating their leadership, collaboration, diversity, career progression thirst and patient centred care.  There were 7 AHP support worker presenters alongside arm’s length body national & regional colleagues.  These visual minutes encapsulate the essence of the AHP support workforce showcasing their brilliance and shining a spotlight on their roles and crucial value in our NHS.  The first national AHP support worker awards were held within this event with over 460 nominations from across England for our 4 award categories – outstanding leadership, supporting our people, reaching your potential and positive, compassionate & inclusive award.  We had 56 shortlisted nominees and 9 winners from across all our AHPs, clinical pathways and geography.

Visual minutes from the AHP support workforce programme webinar