To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will respond to the recommendations of the QualityWatch Report on Allied Health Professionals, published in September 2014, on the need to develop information systems that capture consistent and comparable information on all aspects of the quality of allied health professionals' care; and if he will make a statement.
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are art, drama and music therapists, dietitians, occupational therapists, orthoptists, orthotists/prosthetists, paramedics, physiotherapists, podiatrists, radiographers, and speech and language therapists. Each profession has to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
The QualityWatch report on Allied Health Professionals draws on available data which suggests that AHPs are not currently fully represented in or by many of the national quality measures which systematically capture data from the medical or nursing workforce, presenting an inappropriate impression of the activities and outcomes of AHPs. Given the nature and scope of their work, AHPs are ideally placed to address some of the key challenges facing the health and care sectors. However, the report notes where their publically funded employment already spans the NHS, Local Government (Social Care and Education), housing, third sector and independent practice there is a real opportunity now to develop and build measures across sectors that both reflect the pattern of actual service delivery for patients and the outcomes AHPs achieve for them.
To ensure there is an appropriate AHP workforce to continue to supply this diversity of sectors, which reflect patient choice, will also require increasing sophistication of modelling and data capture during work.
The newly appointed NHS England Chief Allied Health Professions Officer is to take up the chair of National Allied Health Professional Informatics Strategy Taskforce and this group, supported by all the AHP professional bodies, will ensure that the findings of the report are formally reviewed and acted upon.