Allied Health Professions new strategy with digital and data focus

An Allied Health Professions (AHP) strategy for England has been released entitled “AHPs Deliver” which is set to support the 14 distinct occupations of the AHP workforce.

The purpose of the strategy is to provide a direction to the AHP community, with the aim of delivering quality care, improving health outcomes, and improving the sustainability of health and care services.

The strategy outlines four key sections and places a strong emphasis on digital technologies and how they will be used to support the community and quality of care. One of the key sections of the strategy focuses on four enhanced foundations, including: AHPs champion and promote diverse and inclusive leadership; AHPs in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills; AHPs commit to research, innovation, and evaluation; and AHPs further harness digital technology and innovation through data.

It highlights that digital technology and data will be critical for transformation, citing a digital framework created for AHPs, focusing on its workforce to support local services and working towards services that are paper-free at the point of care.

The digital framework outlines three goals for AHP services to support the implementation and development of digital roadmaps and the use of digital maturity assessments:

  1. Creating digitally ready AHP services: focusing on digital leadership, digitally ready AHPs and AHPs in clinical informatics, and addressing the use of digital capabilities, integration, interoperability and digitally-enabled AHP services.
  2. Developing digitally mature AHP services; improving services through AHPs ensuring the adoption of new technologies, processes and data use.
  3. Supporting digitally-enabled AHP services.

A contributor to the development of the strategy, highlighted: “We need to have the right digital enablers which allow AHPs to communicate across systems and with populations. AHPs have fabulous ideas around this but are not always in the right place to innovate.”

The strategy notes that “the AHP community must advance the implementation of the AHP digital framework” over the next five years, and that “AHP community expertise must be engaged when developing digital platforms and digitising services to deliver connectivity across the system.” In addition, AHP communities must receive appropriate support if they are to successfully implement tools that optimise workforce capacity.

It also points out that considering digital exclusion is vital, and that all digital advances “need to appraise the health inequality challenges presented by digital exclusion.”

You can read the full strategy here.