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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.

Shelly English - Allied Health Professions Workforce Lead, HEE London

Shelly joined HEE London in January 2023 as AHP Workforce Lead within the AHP team. Her post involves working with the AHP fellows, facilities and students within the AHP workforce.

She is a therapeutic radiographer by background, with a special interest in advanced practice for AHPs, she works at the North Middlesex University Hospital as a consultant radiograper and ACP lead for the Trust.  

Shelly is passionate about EDI and making AHP careers assessable to all, outside of work Shelly is a season ticket holder at Norwich City and loves to run

Tomas Ince - Allied Health Professions Workforce Fellow, HEE London

Tomas joined the CapitalAHP team at HEE in March 2022 and is leading on the recognition, development and expansion of the AHP Support Worker Workforce within London. Tomas is a physiotherapist and previously worked as the AHP Strategic Practice Learning Lead at London South Bank University and as a clinical manager at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust . He is interested in AHP employability, practice learning and leadership. His outside interests include tennis scuba diving and antiques. Tomas is also committed to co-produced anti-racism action and looks forward to working across systems to achieve equity and justice. 

Naomi Ronan - Allied Health Professions Workforce Fellow, HEE London

Naomi joined the CapitalAHP team at HEE in June 2022 as an AHP workforce fellow and is leading on establishing a regional ODP Network and supporting the next phase of the Critical Care AHP Competency Framework. Naom is a dietitian by background and previously worked as the lead ICU Dietitian at University College London Hospital and was part of the London Transformation Learning Collaborative as NCL AHP Clinical Educator. Naomi is interested in collaborative learning, the expansion and optimisation of the AHP workforce and advocating for the specialist skillset of AHPs. She has been working in London since she qualified in 2013 having moved here to study Dietetics. Naomi loves living in London as there is so much to do and being a foodie, particularly loves all the restaurants and cuisines on offer.

Eleanor Melkuhn - Allied Health Professions Education Fellow, HEE London

Ellie joined HEE London in January 2023 as an Education Fellow within the AHP team. Her project is to scope AHP Education roles in London NHS trusts. 

She is a paediatric respiratory physiotherapist by background, working as a Clinical Specialist in paediatric intensive care at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.  She completed her MSc in Advance Paediatric Physiotherapy at UCL.

Ellie is interested in all things project based and is wants to promote education throughout an AHPs career journey.  She is a keen mentor, who loves supporting others to find solutions.

Outside of work Ellie doesn’t have much time outside a hectic family life, however she does love quality dining and drinks.

Catherine Desforges - CapitalAHP Preceptorship Lead, HEE London

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.

Julie Marchant, CapitalAHP Preceptorship Lead, HEE London

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.

Andrew Hichisson - Paramedic Workforce Programme Lead, HEE London

Andrew joined the Capital AHP team at HEE in October 2022 and is working as the joint lead for a programme looking at the education, development, and expansion of the paramedic workforce in London. Andrew has an ambulance service background and is seconded to HEE from his role as an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner specialising in Urgent Care, as well as undertaking lecturing at the University of Hertfordshire.

His interests particularly lie in Public Health and looking at how paramedics can increase their role in this area to help tackle health inequalities and inequities. Interests outside work include spending time with friends and family as well as playing the ukulele! Andrew is looking forward to working with the rest of the team at HEE over the coming months.

Joshua Golding - Paramedic Workforce Programme Lead, HEE London

Josh joined the CapitalAHP team at HEE in October 2022 as Paramedic Workforce Programme Lead and is job-sharing with Andrew Hichisson. He is leading on the development of the paramedic workforce plan across London. As well as this he links in with the National Paramedic Programme that looks at how the paramedic profession is developing nationally. Josh is a paramedic and Advanced Paramedic Practitioner in Urgent Care. For the past year he has also been working within the London Ambulance Service as Paramedic Ambassador, a role that has involved the development of Paramedic First Contact Practitioners in a rotational model between the LAS and primary care. He is interested in the direction that the paramedic profession is moving along with the development of rotational working models. Outside of work, he’s a Harlequins rugby fan, likes motorbikes, ducks, castles, and scuba diving.

Matt Rutter - Diagnostic Radiography Workforce Transformation Fellow, HEE London

Matt joined the CapitalAHP team at HEE in December 2022 as one of two Diagnostic Radiography Workforce Transformation Fellows. Matt is a diagnostic radiographer who has worked as MRI Superintendent at the Royal London Hospital and as deputy CT superintendent and radiation protection supervisor at Homerton Hospital. His main interests for the role at HEE are apprenticeships, support workers and the radiography establishment. He has also completed his post-graduate certificate in MRI at City University and so has a particular interest in strengthening the MRI workforce across London.

Sarah Foster - RePAIR Fellow, HEE London

Sarah joined HEE London in Sept 2022 as a RePAIR Fellow, working 2 days a week within the Capital AHP team. RePAIR is a national programme aimed at reducing pre-registration student attrition and improving retention in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. Sarah is one of three RePAIR Fellows within HEE London, and her role is to focus primarily on AHPs. 

A paediatric dietitian by background, Sarah recently completed a 12-month secondment as a Clinical Education Improvement Fellow with HEE South East, in conjunction with Canterbury Christ Church University, the Florence Nightingale Foundation and the Council of Deans of Health. In that role, she explored practice-based learning for smaller allied health professions, whether profession size makes a difference (which she found that it does), and what interventions, nationally, regionally or locally, could facilitate sustainable, high quality practice education. 

Sarah is an advocate of multi-professional working in which all professions have visibility, voice and influence, to ensure that multi-disciplinary solutions work for all professions, including the smaller ones, and that any profession-specific issues are not allowed to “slip under the radar”.

Louise Devlin - Allied Health Professions Project Manager, HEE London

Louise started in HEE back in 2018 and has worked in a number of areas such as Primary Care, Apprenticeships and Widening Participation. She has worked as part of the AHP for a number of years and Chairs the Faculty Steering Group and AHP Apprenticeships network. Louise supports a number of workstreams including Critical Care, Elective Recovery and Community Upskilling and particularly enjoys developing and growing the Capital AHP networks across London.

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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