National programme launched to develop AHP support workforce

Radiographers urged to respond to consultation on new education framework

Published: 28 May 2021 Assistant practitioners

Health Education England’s national AHP support workforce programme has been launched to provide national leadership and support on recognising, developing, and expanding this non-registered staff group.

AHP Support workers, senior support workers, assistants and assistant practitioners work in, with and alongside the allied health professions, providing high quality, life changing care across a range of acute and community services. However there is wide variation in their education and training, and how they are deployed.

The Society of Radiographers (SoR) has also joined 13 other healthcare organisations in issuing a statementcalling for AHP support workers to receive equitable access to consistent and sustainable funding for education and professional development opportunities.

The coalition warns that healthcare services are failing to use the knowledge, skills and experience of AHP support workers in a planned and strategic way, undermining efforts to meet the demands of a growing population and adapt to changing patient needs.

Sue Johnson, SoR Professional Officer Clinical Imaging, welcomed the HEE programme: 'This project is separate to the HEE Diagnostic Radiography Support Worker project yet complementary to it. We encourage members to respond to the framework consultation as an essential stage of this project. 

'This is one component ensuring patients benefit from a well-trained and high-quality future workforce in diagnostic and therapeutic radiography and the other Allied Health Professions. We are part of the revolution of who does what, how we do it, and how it leads to patient benefits through service transformation.'

The programme aims to:

  • Improve education standards, access and uptake for AHP support workers
  • Grow the AHP support workforce alongside the registered workforce
  • Improve retention of the AHP support workforce and reduce vacancies
  • Improve the diversity of the support workforce.

Click here to take part in the consultation on the AHP Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework. Closing date is 2 July 2021.