Author: Charlotte Beardmore, Director of Professional Policy
It's not just radiographers who feel that their role in healthcare is often under-valued and that we do not have the profile or recognition we deserve.
As long as there have been allied health professionals (or PAMs for those who have longer memories), collectively we have felt that it’s only patients who appreciate what we do. (They are sometimes confused about our role or job title, but they do value our work.)
Even worse has been the repeated rebuffs to proposals from the SCoR and other AHP bodies that their members could be doing so much more. Appropriately trained AHPs could literally transform healthcare and, in time, solve many of the perennial issues of capacity and cost which the NHS suffers.
Many of our members are working to deliver changes and expanding their scope of practice and a mechanism needs to exist to replicate these strategies country wide.
Thanks to a new initiative - AHPs into Action - headed by Suzanne Rastrick, the chief allied health professions officer for England, there may be hope that prevailing and long-held attitudes can change and be an opportunity to spread the good practice.
As a result of a fact-finding visit to Vanguard sites, Suzanne says that there was a need for a clear AHP centred strategy that commissioners and provider organisations can use.
Suzanne met with senior officers from the SCoR and the 11 other AHP organisations to establish if, in her own words, “There was consensus on collective action that AHPs could take to support the delivery of what will be required in the future care landscape.”
At the launch of AHPs into Action, Suzanne emphasised how health, social and the wider care system would be different if “AHPs were genuinely used effectively.”
The first part of the strategy document identifies the potential of AHPs to transform services and includes 53 case studies demonstrating current innovative solutions. At the launch event our own CoR accredited consultant practitioner Bev Snaith demonstrated the transformation to diagnostic care made by radiographer-led reporting and patient discharge.)
The second section is a framework for leaders to enable AHPs to transform care.
AHPs into Action is not going to transfigure the role and perception of radiographers overnight, but it is a start and one that we and other health professionals must grasp and use to our advantage. Please take a look, there are fantastic evidence based examples to support wider service roll out for patients.
Click here to download the AHPs into Action document.