Posted by: ayrshirehealth | July 15, 2015

Whose turn is it to bring the cake? by @kerryahpaa

Exciting and breathtaking

NAHSCP LogoSome of you will know that I have been lucky enough to join North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership as the lead for Allied Health Professions (AHP) (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Speech&Language Therapy and Podiatry), so when my new room mate asked me to write a blog there was no doubt in my mind what the topic would be.

“……the thing about blogging is simply to write about something that interests you, that you’re enthusiastic about or want to create a conversation around” (Barron, DT 2014).

All of the above are true when I consider the role of AHP’s as part of health and social care partnership teams in North Ayrshire. It has been an amazing journey thus far…..exciting and breathtaking in equal measure.

Agents of change

AHP Agents of changeThe scene was set for us in “AHP’s as Agents of Change in Health & Social Care, The National Delivery Plan for the Allied Health Professions of Scotland 2012 – 2015”

… with action 1.1 – AHP leaders and leaders of Social Work will work together to strengthen and embed professional leadership and governance infrastructure for AHP’s working across health and social care to enhance integrated service delivery and outcomes for people who use services.

Those 39 words made it sound quite simple, but the reality was much more difficult. It would be fair to say that the transition towards bringing AHP services together in Health and Social Care Partnerships has been challenging at times. I think that was because many clinicians couldn’t find a way to translate the ambition into meaningful reality in our complex environment.

Strategic Plan – thank you

Strategic PlanOne of the most powerful enablers for us has been the development and ongoing implementation of the North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Strategic Plan. During 2014, AHP’s in North Ayrshire were welcomed by partnership colleagues in a number of groups, including the writing group for the plan.

I applaud those colleagues who managed sometimes weekly meetings and communicated various redrafts of the plan with us, often burning the midnight oil.

Thank you….you and the members of the public who contributed to the final document gave us our route map. At last we have an easy on the eye, easy to understand document, with clear priorities that we can all relate to.

AHP Venn DiagramSo along came 2nd April 2015 and we were out of the shadow period and born as a formal Health & Social Care Partnership (the first in Scotland, by a few hours!).

When AHP’s ask me how I would describe the partnership, I always say that I view it as the middle part of a Venn diagram – and AHP staff have so much to contribute to that middle part:

The unsung heroes

The Chief Health Professions Officer, Jacqui Lunday Johnston in the introduction for “AHP’s as Agents of Change in Health & Social Care” that “AHPs strongly support the ADSW position statement on integration, which states that “a better outcome for individuals should become a common ethos”. We recognise that early intervention, personalised care, power, choice and control for individuals, supporting and empowering communities and carers, seamless pathways of care, equitable access and an evidence-based approach to best value and preventative spend should be our priorities”.

The Minister for Public Health, Maureen Watt MSP, speaking after a Scottish Parliament debate on the role of AHPs in 2015, said:

All too often Allied Health Professionals are the unsung heroes of our National Health Service.

Not only do the vast majority of people want to stay in their own homes for longer, it’s also better for recovery and mental wellbeing. Allied Health Professionals use their skills to make this possible for thousands of people.

There are many examples of innovative ways that they are helping people to live healthier and happier lives in their own homes, without having to be admitted to hospital.”

… and cake

OT CakeSo AHP staff have begun the process of developing their own action plan to make sure that we contribute to improving the lives of people who live in North Ayrshire.

Our sessions are full of energy, enthusiasm and coffee …….oh, and cake!

Please let me know if you’d like to be part of our interesting and enthusiastic conversation.

This week’s blog was by @kerryahpaa (Kerry Gilligan), Lead AHP, North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership; Occupational Therapy Head of Profession, NHS Ayrshire & Arran


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