Wednesday 11th October brought us the eagerly anticipated Acute Therapies Conference. The project is run bi-annually, so there was certainly a lot to cover. We were delighted to see so many of our members and the intensity of discussion taking place.
The conference opened with a presentation from Ruth Allarton, Head of Department of Allied Health Professions, Sheffield Hallam University. Ruth’s insightful presentation focused on the benefits of students to the workforce as well as the opportunities available with students in the Allied Health professions.
Following Ruth’s presentation, we heard from Claire Holditch, Director of the NHS Benchmarking Network, with a first look at the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy findings for 2017. We are pleased to note that the Acute Therapies project has grown with each iteration, with 93 organisations now participating. Jumping forward to the Dietetic and Speech & Language Therapy findings presented by Leigh Jenkins, Project Manager for the Network, it was great to hear a positive summary from the project data. This included, a decrease in dietetic outpatient waiting times and DNA rates reducing in dietetics, as well.
Following a short networking break, we heard from Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for NHS England. She mentioned the 5 Year Forward View in reference to AHPs, along with the social media campaign #StrongerTogether. Suzanne ended her presentation with reference to future developments in technology in relation to AHP practice; more will be shared from NHS England in the coming months.
Our policy speakers continued with Linda Hindle, Lead Allied Health Professional for Public Health England. She confirmed that AHPs are called upon more in the public health workforce, which was welcomed by the room. Linda’s presentation focused predominantly on prevention and early intervention, and encouraged delegates to incorporate the Making Every Contact Count initiative into their working day.
We closed the day with a Case Study from the Pennine Acute NHS Trust, where they drew on the points throughout the day to explore safer staffing, with proactive rather than reactive activity when it came to staff provision. The team at Pennine Acute confirmed how they had used data to understand variation in patient pathways to allocate staffing appropriately.
The day came to a close with time for further discussion and opportunities for future development in the Therapies project. Thank you to everyone who attended the event. The report will be available in December. Please contact Chris McAuley for any project queries.
You can register onto our other free conferences via the members’ area or contact Emma Pruce for more information.