Professionals (AHPs) from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) sang
their hearts out to demonstrate the mental health benefits of joining in a
sing-along, when they met for a conference to launch their vision for the
More than 150
qualified and student AHPs, who work in services across the Trust, came
together to share learning, innovative practice and to launch the Trust’s AHP
Strategy 2019 to 2023 to put the expertise of AHPs to best use in its services.
Professionals (AHPs) is the name given to occupational therapists,
physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, art, drama, music, dance
therapists, play therapists, dietitians, social workers, complementary
therapists and mental health practitioners or psychological practitioners, who
have an AHP qualification.
AHPs are a
diverse group of practitioners who deliver high-quality care by carrying out
assessment, diagnosis, treatment and discharge. They are the third largest
group of practitioners in the NHS and most are educated in both physical and
mental health issues, with clinical experience in multi-disciplinary and
Lovatt, AHP Lead at NSFT, said: “AHPs may make up smaller percentage of our
workforce than doctors or nurses, but their specialisms are crucial to a
patient’s recovery and quality of life, no matter what their mental health
bring unique skills to multi-disciplinary teams and we are proud to champion
them at our Trust.
of the strategy is to outline the unique contribution AHPs make to deliver our
Trust’s vision of ‘working together for better mental health’. Our aim is to
improve health and wellbeing for individuals and communities, keep care closer
to home, reduce reliance on GPs and acute care, and make sure carers, too, get
the care they need.”
has been developed by local AHPs, colleagues in other professions in the Trust
and service users.
An array of
NSFT Chair Marie Gabriel, Chief Executive Jonathan Warren and Chief Nurse Diane
Hull, encouraged learning, discussion and reflection throughout the event at
Dunston Hall, near Norwich, on Monday (13 May).
AHP Leads - Joanne Fillingham, Clinical Director, Allied Health Professions,
and Stuart Palma, Professional Head of AHPs, both from NHS England and NHS
Improvement – also spoke.
delighted to endorse the NSFT AHP Strategy and committed to support the Trust
in its AHP development.
highlighted the national agenda of ‘AHPs into Action’, focusing on improving
AHP provision, and explained that diverse clinical leadership is crucial to
support the NHS Long Term Plan.
Wheeler, Ambassador and former Chair of NSFT, and Christina West, Musical
Director from Sing Your Heart Out, explained how singing can support recovery
and wellbeing, then encouraged attendees to join in a collective sing-along to
show the social and cognitive benefits of singing for physical and mental
“Much of what AHPs do is to encourage people to express themselves, and singing
is one of many ways that people who perhaps feel that they have ‘lost their
voice’ in their lives, can really open up, feel a sense of freedom and let it
“Singing in a
group brings people together, whatever your ability. You don’t have to be able
to sing like a pop star or an opera diva; you just need to find your own
included art psychotherapy, speech and language therapy in mental health
services, the journey of AHP research, dietitians talking about the link
between food and mood, sensory integration, OT formulation and a chance to get
moving to boost both physical and mental wellbeing, all run by NSFT’s own AHPs.
“We were very keen to integrate a creative element into the day as many of
those attending offer artistic and innovative therapies in their roles.”
For press enquiries, email: email@example.com