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Making London the best place to be an allied health professional (AHP)

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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. 


Our team

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.


Get involved

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

Our work

AHP faculties

“During 2019/20 we will focus on increasing applications to undergraduate AHP education… and developing AHP faculties to work with healthcare providers to identify how to expand clinical placement activity.  … AHP faculties will also play a key role in helping shape the next generation of AHPs, supporting the continuing education and training of AHPs in current practice and helping develop advanced practice roles”

Interim NHS People Plan

Each of the five London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) footprints have been offered local support from CapitalAHP to embed pan-London work in their areas.

For more information about the national work on AHP Faculties please click here.

North Central London (NCL)

In NCL a senior AHP leader was appointed in 2020 who will lead the progression of CapitalAHP in the NCL footprint. Initiatives include:

  • clinical placement expansion; and
  • apprenticeships.

North East London (NEL)

In NEL a senior AHP leader was appointed in 2020 who will lead the progression of CapitalAHP in the NEL footprint. Initiatives include:

  • careers pathways; and
  • clinical placement expansion.

North West London (NWL)

In NWL a senior AHP leader was appointed in 2020 who will lead the progression of CapitalAHP in the NWL footprint. Initiatives include:

  • clinical placement expansion.

South East London (SEL)

In SEL a senior AHP leader was appointed in 2020 who will lead the progression of CapitalAHP in the SEL footprint. Initiatives include:

  • apprenticeships; and
  • clinical placement expansion.

South West London (SWL)

In SWL a senior AHP leader was appointed in 2020 who will lead the progression of CapitalAHP in the SWL footprint. Initiatives include:

  • clinical placement expansion.

RePAIR: Reducing pre-registration attrition and improving retention

A report and set of resources aimed at supporting the NHS and higher education providers in reducing the level of student attrition.

HEE has invested in supporting the implementation of the recommendations from the RePAIR report and these are themed around four domains, the delivery of each domain is supported across London by an AHP RePAIR fellow:

  1. Ensure the highest quality practice learning environment
  2. Learner clinical supervision and support
  3. Preceptorship toolkit
  4. On-line clinical placement app

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the RePAIR newsletter, please email agnes.hibbert@hee.nhs.uk

Routes into allied health professions

Resources to help promote a career as an Allied Health Professional.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

In August 2020, Suzanne Rastrick, the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer at NHSE/I, stated in her blog that the work done to recognise and improve the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) diversity of our AHP workforce has frankly been insufficient, and that urgent action needs to be undertaken to address this.

AHPs make up the third-largest clinical workforce in health and care but have one of the lowest percentages of BAME workers, at 12.2 per cent, below the National UK population average of 13.9 per cent and significantly below the national NHS workforce average of 19.9 per cent. When considering BAME representation in bandings of 8a and above, this figure drops to well below 10 per cent, so there is a significant amount of work to do.

Within London, our local population is approximately 40 per cent from BAME backgrounds. Our AHP workforce in London is 23 per cent from BAME backgrounds, showing that it is not representative of our local population. Similar to national data, BAME representation at higher bandings is poor in London.

CapitalAHP is committed to creating a workforce that is ethnically diverse and inclusive. We are working on a number of collaborative projects with our local stakeholders; focussing on a broad range of areas, from; health inequalities within our local population; choosing an AHP career; student experience; and including workforce challenges, in order to create a more diverse and inclusive culture.


Journal articles

Professional specific BAME Networks

CSP BAME Network


  • Black, Asian & Minority Ethnicities Occupational Therapy Practitioners Students & Educators Network. Allies please join us here too. Tweets are personal views.

SLTs of Colour

  • @OfSlts
  • Inclusive network supporting Speech & Language Therapists in the UK. We post our SLT profiles on Instagram, come follow us. Views expressed are our own

SLTea Time

  • Twitter@SLTeaTime Podcast opening up discussions around race, ethnicity & the lived experiences of #SLT/#SLT2B’s from under-represented and misunderstood communities

Cultural Health Club


A team aiming to make being healthy equal for all | Follow us on Instagram:





African and Caribbean physiotherapy support network for students, qualifieds & assistants across in the UK | DM for any enquiries

Video to watch and reflect on


Useful documents:


  • Small great things by Jodi Picoult.
  • Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni-Eddo Lodge.
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
  • Natives: Race, class and empire by Akala.
  • Biased by Jennifer Eberhardt
  • White privilege by Kalwant Bhopal

Practice learning expansion

A robust and sustainable approach to good quality placements and learning environments is critical for us to effectively expand our workforce by growing the number of Allied Health Professionals in education. To deliver this Health Education England are working collaboratively across professions, universities, Royal Colleges, professional bodies, and with our regulators to share learning and build ambition.

“The tireless commitment of systems to drive placement recovery alongside innovation and growth is testament to the value our systems place upon the skills of AHPs and our future workforce pipeline. The additional opportunity to capitalise upon the use of technology to drive resilient services and maintain training will support the digital transformation across the professions.”

Beverley Harden

£1,199,633 in clinical placement expansion funding across London. 

We are developing communities of practice for placement expansion facilitators, educators and students to embed the work across London. If you would like to get involved please email AHPLondon@hee.nhs.uk

Current placement expectations of AHP regulators and professional bodies 

CapitalAHP Fair Share Model for Practice Learning 

This Fair Share model for Allied Health Professions (AHP) practice placements has been developed in collaboration with Health Education England (HEE) (London region) the London and South East Placement Partnership (LSEAPP) and the Placement provider representatives through the Chief AHP network during 2020-2021. 

The model was prompted by requests from practice educators, AHP education leads and Chief AHPs to help benchmark their provision of practice learning (and supporting the future workforce) relative to workforce capacity. 

The guidance has been developed based on the HEE Non-medical Education Training (NMET) data available for the academic period 2018-2019.  The focus has been on Physiotherapy (PT), Occupational therapy (OT) and Speech and Language therapy (SLT) as these are the disciplines represented in LSEAPP.  The 2018-19 period was used as this represents a period of stability in the placement modelling prior to the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted business as usual.

AHP Learning Placement Exchange

We encourage you to use this platform to:

  • Access the most up to date national policy and guidance from arms-length bodies, professional bodies and regulators
  • Share best practice or innovation around expanding placement capacity and improving quality
  • Seek support if you have placement capacity or quality challenges
  • Share information on placements e.g. resources, funding

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


Practice Placements to support the future AHP workforce webinar Thursday 12th Nov 2020


Guidance has been developed focussed on how health and care organisations in London can support newly qualified health care professionals on the covid-19 temporary register.

Please see here for more information.

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