Recognising the NHS’s hidden heroes on AHP Day 2020
13 October 2020

Recognising the NHS’s hidden heroes on AHP Day 2020

NHS staff across Sussex will be saying a big thank you to an unsung army of health care workers this Wednesday (14 October), as they celebrate the third annual AHP Day.

Celebrated on 14 October each year, AHP Day is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Allied Health Professionals, or AHPs, in supporting patient care and the health of local communities.

AHPs are often described as the NHS’s hidden army of heroes. Made up of 14 different occupations, seven of the AHP professions are found throughout Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s (SCFT’s) services. They are chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers, speech and language therapists and paramedics.

They work throughout SCFT’s services in Brighton & Hove, West Sussex and High Weald Lewes Havens, to support people to manage their health and wellbeing, prevent illness and live well in their own homes.

Professional Head of Therapies at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, Sandra Speller, said: “People may not realise that Allied Health Professionals are the third largest workforce in the NHS, and the second largest clinical group at our Trust. They play a critical role in supporting people to get well and stay well, working with patients in hospital, in their own homes and also in schools, to help them recover from illness, manage their conditions and improve their health and wellbeing so that they can live full and active lives.

“We appreciate our AHPs every single day of the year, but this year, more than ever before, I want to use AHP Day as an opportunity to celebrate the amazing things our AHPs have done, and continue to do, to support people in our communities across Sussex. It’s been challenging, but they have risen to the occasion and I have never been more proud to be an AHP.”

Chief Nurse, Donna Lamb, said: “The resilience that our AHPs have shown over the last six months has been amazing to see. Their skill and expertise in providing person-centred, goal-focused care to encourage independence has made such a difference to patients and their families. They should all be so proud of what they have achieved.

“Sadly many of our planned AHP Day celebrations have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, but I hope that everyone still manages to enjoy some socially-distanced mini celebrations to mark their achievements.”

This year is a significant one for AHPs, as a number of professions mark milestone anniversaries, including 75 years of speech and language therapy in the UK and the 100 year anniversary of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy being granted royal chartered status.

If you’re interested in a career in AHP, visit the NHS careers website for more information.

If you’re an AHP looking for a new challenge, check out the current opportunities at our Trust.