Allied Health Professionals are the third largest workforce in the NHS. At SASH they currently make up a huge portion of our workforce. AHPs deliver high-quality care to patients and clients across a wide range of care pathways and in a variety of different settings. They play an important role in modern health and social care services. Their value cannot be underestimated.
There are 14 allied health professions who you might come across in the NHS. They are:
- Art therapists
- Music therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Operating department practitioners
- Prosthetists and Orthotists
- Speech and language therapists
At SASH we have eight members of the profession working within our One Team. You can find more about them on their dedicated pages to the right.
Although we might not employ all AHP professions at SASH, you might find them being involved in your care. Find out more about them below:
Art therapists use art as a form of psychotherapy to encourage clients to explore a variety of issues including emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions or physical illnesses.
People of all ages from children to the elderly, regardless of artistic experience, use art therapy in this way as an aid to supporting them with their particular concern. It is not a diagnostic tool but rather a mode of communication and expression.
Dramatherapists are both clinicians and artists that draw on their knowledge of both theatre/drama and therapy to use performance arts as a medium for psychological therapy. Clients are able to explore a wide variety of different issues and needs from autism and dementia to physical/sexual abuse and mental illness in an indirect way leading to psychological, emotional and social changes.
Dramatherapists can be found in many varying settings such as schools, mental health care, general health social care, prisons and in the voluntary sector.
Music therapists engage clients in live musical interaction so as to promote an individual’s emotional wellbeing and improve their communication skills. Clients do not need to have any previous experience of playing a musical instrument (or even singing) as this established psychological clinical intervention utilises their unique connection to music and the relationship established with their therapist to help: develop and facilitate communication skills, improve self-confidence and independence, enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, and improve concentration and attention skills.
In particular, music therapy is an effective intervention for those clients who cannot speak due to disability, illness or injury as their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs can be addressed through the musical interaction with their therapist.
Music therapy can be beneficial for individuals of all ages and physical abilities however, from new born babies in terms of establishing the parent-child bond to those receiving palliative, end-of-life care.
Podiatrists provide essential assessment, evaluation and foot care for a wide range of patients with a variety of conditions both long term and acute. Many of these fall into high risk categories such as patients with diabetes, cerebral palsy, peripheral arterial disease and peripheral nerve damage where podiatric care is of vital importance.
Many podiatrists have become further specialised into either the area of biomechanics or surgery. Biomechanics is often associated with treating sports related injuries but spans across a wide range of conditions including children and the elderly.
Podiatric surgeons offer surgical interventions in all aspects of foot health management. Podiatrists work in both the community and acute settings and while many are employees of the NHS many podiatrists now provide healthcare services in the private sector.
Osteopaths take a holistic view of the structure and function of the body to diagnose and treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Their work is centered on the principle that the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues of an individual need to function smoothly together so as to maintain wellbeing.
Osteopaths use a number of non-invasive treatments such as touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to restore bodily equilibrium through increasing the mobility of joints, relieving muscle tension, enhancing blood and nerve supply to tissues, and encouraging an individual’s own healing mechanisms.
Prosthetists are autonomous registered practitioners who provide gait analysis and engineering solutions to patients with limb loss. They are extensively trained at undergraduate level in mechanics, bio-mechanics, and material science along with anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. Their qualifications make them competent to design and provide prostheses that replicate the structural or functional characteristics of the patients absent limb.
They treat patients with congenital loss as well as loss due to diabetes, reduced vascularity, infection and trauma. Whilst they are autonomous practitioners they usually work closely with physiotherapists and occupational therapists as part of multidisciplinary amputee rehabilitation teams.
Orthotists are autonomous registered practitioners who provide gait analysis and engineering solutions to patients with problems of the neuro, muscular and skeletal systems. They are extensively trained at undergraduate level in mechanics, bio-mechanics, and material science along with anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. Their qualifications make them competent to design and provide orthoses that modify the structural or functional characteristics of the patients’ neuro-muscular and skeletal systems enabling patients to mobilise, eliminate gait deviations, reduce falls, reduce pain, prevent and facilitate the healing of ulcers.
They treat patients with a wide range of conditions including diabetes, arthritis, cerebral palsy, stroke, spina bifida, scoliosis, musculoskeletal, physiotherapy, sports injuries and trauma. Whilst they often work as autonomous practitioners they increasingly often form part of multidisciplinary teams such as within the diabetic foot team or neuro-rehabilitation team.
Are you interested in becoming one of our amazing SASH AHPs? Click here to find out the roles we currently have open.
Each page details the different career paths for specific roles but if you'd like more generalised information about studying to become an AHP you can find out more here.