Plan to axe AHP adviser causes outcry

Allied Health Professions (AHP) Federation chief Ann Green has written to the Department of Health about reports that it is preparing to axe the role of its AHP officer.


Ann Green: It is improbable that the same level of connection would be sustained without this post.

In a letter dated 13 June, former CSP council chair Ms Green said that ending the post would diminish or silence the voice that represents 170,000 AHPs in departmental decision making.

She wrote: ‘I would welcome your early confirmation that the value placed on the role of the AHP officer at the Department of Health will be maintained, so that … we can continue to work closely to ensure AHPs continue to contribute to the vision of patient-focused healthcare.’

In a statement, the Department of Health (DH) said: ‘All of the changes we are making through our DH 2020 programme are being done transparently and following extensive engagement with our staff.’

Alison Raw to go?

However, Health Service Journal reported that the AHP officer at the DH, Alison Raw (pictured right), and six other employees will be leaving the department. A source revealed to the journal that there had been ‘no consultation with staff or unions on the 2020 changes … staff were told that was what was going to happen.’

Ms Raw’s job has been to advise ministers and policy teams about the contributions of physios and other AHPs to healthcare. She was able to influence legal changes to allow physios to train as independent prescribers, for example.

Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, added her voice to the protest: ‘If confirmed, this decision will impede the very progress the DH is seeking to make,’ she said.

‘The importance of clinical leadership in delivering patient safety was a key focus of the Francis Report so it is essential that allied health professionals are represented at the top table.’

Frontline contacted Ms Raw about changes at the department, but she was unavailable for comment.

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