Learning from Patient Experience

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has hosted a special celebration event to share and learn from some of the Best Practice across Allied Health Professional Services.

Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) is the name given to the group of health care staff distinct from nurses and doctors, who offer a wide range of services and support to patients and clients. AHPs include Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians Orthoptists, Radiographers, Orthotists, Prosthetists and Art, Drama and Music Therapists.

The event brought together local AHPs from across all disciplines along with other health and social care staff to hear directly from service users, families and advocates about their experiences of AHP services including some from Dungannon and Cookstown. Topics included specialist stroke AHP rehabilitation, Speech and Language Therapy improvements for children, Radiography led fertility clinics, positive patient outcomes following interventions from Orthoptics, Podiatry, Physiotherapy and OT.

Many of the stories shared by patients and posters displayed at the event demonstrating service improvements have won national, international and regional recognition.

Guest speakers also included Hazel Winning, Lead AHP Officer for the Department of Health and Dr Jacqui Lunday Johnstone, AHP Lead from the Scottish Government who shared the strategic visions and shared learning from a NI and Scottish perspectives.

Speaking at the event Angela McVeigh, Executive Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:

“Allied Health Professionals play such a vital role in ensuring safe, high quality care with a dedicated focus on supporting clients to self-manage their conditions to help them return to education, employment and other normal daily activities. From diagnosis and assessment to delivering treatment right through to rehabilitation, they have a huge influence on the patient journey. We are continually looking for ways to help improve the services we provide, whilst at the same time keep up to date with the latest clinical developments and recommendations.

“Our Service Users and Trust staff have shown meaningful partnership commitment to improving the experience of patients and carers by participating today. We particularly would like to thank all our service users, their carers’ and advocates, who have been so willing to openly share their experiences on what works well and how we can improve in shaping future services that will meet the growing demands of our population.”

Carmel Harney, Assistant Director for AHP Governance, Workforce Development and Training added: “AHPs are key to transforming Health, Care and Wellbeing in Northern Ireland working in partnership with other sectors like education, housing, leisure, employment and learning and the criminal justice system. AHPs impact on the wider determinants of health and are pivotal to delivering the transformation agenda for health and social care.”