NHS Improvement and NHS England publish guidance, which demonstrates how allied health professionals (AHPs) benefit NHS emergency care by improving patient flow - particularly when they are fully involved in patient flow planning.
AHPs, the third largest professional group in the NHS, are highly trained autonomous professionals whose collaborative work with medical, nursing and social care colleagues is the engine of patient flow.
Delivering the commitments of AHPs into Action opens in a new window demands the optimisation of the AHP workforce, which can significantly improve quality, effectiveness and productivity across care pathways. This document gives examples of how this can be done.
Quick guide: allied health professions supporting patient flow
Bringing the AHP workforce into patient flow planning can improve quality, effectiveness and productivity.
Each section gives a brief overview of the contribution that AHPs have made to deliver safe, effective patient care and flow, followed by case studies which demonstrate how AHPs:
- work in the community keeping people safe and well at home
- ‘front door’ assess, diagnose and treat patients in emergency departments, ambulatory care and assessment units
- support avoidance of hospital admission
- enable early rehabilitation and reducing overnight admissions
- drive ‘Home First’ (discharge to assess) to avoid in-hospital deconditioning of frail, older people.