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The CapitalAHP programme developed in 2019 is being delivered through action across London, and it belongs to all AHPs in the capital. CapitalAHP is jointly led by Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I).

The aim of CapitalAHP is to grow and sustainably retain the AHP workforce in London.

CapitalAHP priorities are:

  • Attracting the future AHP workforce, clarifying and supporting routes into the AHP professions;
  • Bridging the gap between education and employment; and supporting the development of our current AHPs to have the right skills, in the right places and take on new roles.

The 14 AHPs supported by CapitalAHP are: art therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, prosthetists and orthotists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, diagnostic radiographers, therapeutic radiographers, and speech and language therapists.

AHPs form the third largest clinical workforce in health and social care in England. They provide high quality care to patients and clients across a wide range of care pathways and in a variety of settings that include, hospitals, community, the independent and charitable sectors and schools. They work in health promotion to prevent accident or illness, they are active in treatment and rehabilitation and they promote self-help and independence.

AHPs have professional titles recognised by NHSE/I and protected by law. In order to use their professional titles – such as occupational therapist or speech and language therapist – each professional must be registered with the regulatory body, the Health and Care Professions Council.

This page will help you to stay up to date with all the latest news, events, information and developments relevant to AHP services across London.

Laura Leadsford, Head of Allied Health Professions, HEE, London Region

Laura and her other regional colleagues work to support and develop the contribution of the 14 AHPs to the NHS Long Term Plan and People Plan in terms of workforce supply, the future AHP and the development of career paths to realise the full potential of AHPs.

Before coming to HEE, Laura was director of therapy services at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. A physiotherapist by profession, Laura is passionate about how AHPs can improve the health of populations; enhance patient experience; support the cost-effective delivery of care; and develop rewarding and fulfilling job roles.

Steve Tolan, Allied Health Professions Lead, NHSE/I, London Region

Steve’s role is linked to supporting London to avoid underuse, overuse and misuse of AHP contributions to the NHS Long Term Plan, the London vision and Covid response and recovery particularly from a system transformation perspective. Steve is a physiotherapist and his general professional interests are rehabilitation and recovery, digital healthcare, system transformation, leadership and diversity, and health inequalities.

Robel Ghaim, Project Support Officer, HEE

Robel is supporting the regional AHP leads for both HEE and NHSE/I, working to ensure the workforce meets our patient needs and enhancing services.

Chloe Keith-Jopp, Allied Health Professions Clinical Fellow for London, HEE

Chloe leads on clinical placement expansion, providing resources, guidance and supporting the placement expansion facilitators across London. She previously worked as a digital fellow and research associate, focussed on digital transformation and crowd sourced research. Chloe is a physiotherapist, working in London for the past 10 years and seconded from Barts Health NHS Trust to this role. Chloe enjoys bringing people together to innovate and share learning, to increase the placements for students in the capital. 

Arnie Puntis, Allied Health Professions Clinical Fellow for London, HEE

Arnie joined HEE in Dec 2020 after working in London as a physiotherapist for 15 years in a variety of roles. Her substantive post is at St Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she provides clinical leadership for community therapy services, specialising in frailty and complexity. 

Arnie is a qualified coach and has a firm belief in people’s own abilities through positive engagement. Arnie’s main role at HEE is looking at increasing diversity and inclusivity for those choosing an AHP career so that we reflect our local population and influence health inequalities. 

Helen Lycett, CapitalAHP Advisor, HEE

Helen’s substantive post is as the strategic trust lead for AHPs at West London NHS Trust, a role she has been in for five years. Helen trained as an occupational therapist at Coventry University, spent her clinical career working across a range of mental health settings and she remains passionate about the role that mental health plays in a person’s overall well-being. Helen has been a council member for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and a specialist advisor for the CQC.

Helen was delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with HEE as she believes that our current and future AHPs are the most precious resource we have and we need to invest wisely in their own going development, whether that be through clear career pathways or via the delivery of high-quality clinical placements. Helen always says that we need to treat our staff and students so well, that they never want to leave, and training and development is a core part of this philosophy.

Catherine Desforges, CapitalAHP Advisor, HEE

After training as a speech and language therapist at University College London, Catherine has spent her career in the capital working in a range of roles in acute north London trusts. Catherine currently works at The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust as head of education and development for allied health professions. 

Catherine is passionate about developing people to consider the exciting opportunities allied health careers offer, from students considering career options, support workers and student AHPs to preceptees and advanced clinical practitioners. Catherine is looking forward to this opportunity to work with the HEE team to support their work developing the essential AHP workforce.

Claire Robinson, Allied Health Professions Project Manager for London HEE

Claire is working across HEE to support the growth, sustainability, and retention of the AHP workforce in London.  

Claire Joined HEE in June 2021 and has been supporting the delivery of HEE workstreams including, AHP Workforce and Expansion and Equality Diversity, and Inclusion. Her previous experience includes, supporting Primary Care Interventions to improve health outcomes, Diabetes Transformation and Whole Systems Integrated Care.

Julie (‘Jules’) Marchant, CapitalAHP Advisor, HEE

Jules’ substantive post is as the Trust Lead AHP Workforce and Education Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, which she has been in for the past six years. Jules trained as a Speech and Language Therapist at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and spent her clinical career in paediatric neuro-disability, mainly within special schools. Jules previously worked as a National HEE RePAIR-IP Fellow.

CapitalAHP exists for and on behalf of members and we want AHPs and ODPs across the region to be involved in and influence our work. Anyone can get involved – we are keen to hear from students and new graduates as well as more experienced AHPs and ODPs.

Ways that you can get involved with CapitalAHP:

- if you have a project that you think could benefit from either support from CapitalAHP or could help with wider AHP community;
- using the CapitalAHP brand can help to enhance and support your work or recruitment efforts and highlight them to the wider AHP workforce; and
- contribute to the CapitalAHP newsletter by sending us events and news items to share with AHPs across London.

Please email us at AHPLondon@hee.nhs.uk to get involved


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest information about CapitalAHP and our work.

Social media

Join us on Twitter @LondonAHPs and get the conversation going by using #capitalAHP


We encourage you to sign up to the National AHP Virtual Hub to keep up to date with events.

To access the AHP Learning Exchange you will need to sign up to NHS Futures and email seniorahp-manager@future.nhs.uk for permission to access the area.

Past events

- AHP Apprenticeship Standards 19 November 2020
- AHP Practice Placement Event 12 November 2020

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