Minister sees vital work of allied health professionals in action

The valuable work of allied health professionals has been seen first-hand today by minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport in the Scottish government, Maree Todd.

Minister Maree Todd, standing, right, chats with physiotherapist and Midlothian AHP team lead Lynda Nattress during an exercise class to improve strength and hand eye coordination run by community rehabilitation team members

Visiting the Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, Ms Todd met with AHPs, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists, working in a variety of community-based services.  

The visit, organised by the Allied Health Professions Federation Scotland, highlighted the crucial rehabilitation support these health professionals offer their patients. It also showcased the essential role their services have in the overall health system - reducing readmissions, increasing patient flow and easing pressure on social care.  

Ms Todd is overseeing the development of the National Care Service which is planned to be responsible for planning and commissioning primary care and community health services in Scotland. At the visit, the minister announced a series of summer co-production events. These events will allow people with lived experience of care, as well as practitioners whose services will be commissioned by the National Care Service, to participate in service design.  

The health professionals who met with Ms Todd work across several multi-disciplinary teams, all working to support patients to stay in their homes for longer or get back home after a stay in hospital.

Ms Todd said: 'It’s been an inspiring visit.

As AHPs you’re making a massive difference and we need to unleash you.

Debbie Crerar, integrated service manager, Home First at Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and CSP member said: 'We are delighted to welcome the minister today to see the crucial work of allied health professionals. Community rehabilitation is the corner stone in creating healthier communities.

'Allied health professionals are preventing hospital admissions, enabling early discharge from hospital and reducing reliance on social care by supporting people enjoy their quality of life in their communities.'

The Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership services showcased

Discharge to assess
Occupational therapy and physiotherapy led service working with patients to support them as they leave hospital. They offer rehabilitation therapy, equipment and short-term care in people’s own homes to increase someone’s independence, and reduce their hospital stay and their likelihood of needing care long term. 
Rapid response
Occupational therapy and physiotherapy led service responding urgently to people in crisis or at risk of tipping into crisis. Providing support in people’s own home to decrease the likelihood of them needing admission to hospital. 
Community respiratory team
Physiotherapy led service with a dietician and psychologist embedded within the team. Supporting people with COPD and bronchiectasis. Offer support to patients in their own homes, making it less likely they will need to attend A and E or be admitted to hospital. 
Occupational therapists and nurses ensuring that people needing healthcare support are directed to the right place at the right time. Co-ordinating links between the acute hospitals and community services. 
Midlothian Community Hospital and Highbank rehabilitation team
Occupational therapy and physiotherapy led service offering bed-based rehabilitation to patients who are staying in the community hospital – possibly as a step between the acute hospital and home. Working to increase people’s independence so they can get home sooner.

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