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Being an AHP gives me a daily opportunity to recognise and completely respect the value of individual life – Erin’s story

Erin Louise is the Allied Health Professional (AHP) Lead for Solent NHS Trust and to celebrate AHP Day 2020, Erin shares her thoughts on what makes her proud to be an AHP and why they are so important to our workforce, our patients and our communities 

The Allied Health Professions or AHPs are the third-largest clinical workforce in the NHS. They are a complement of 14 different autonomous practitioners with degree-level training. In Solent, we currently have eight of the different AHP roles alongside our therapeutic practitioners such as psychology and social work, with each role as important as the nextThe AHP workforce provides system-wide care to assess, treat, diagnose and discharge patients across health and social care, housing, education, and independent and voluntary sectors. Through adopting a holistic approach to healthcare, AHPs can support the diverse needs of patients throughout the life course from birth to palliative care and they are fundamental in helping us to keep as many people as we possibly can safe and well, at or close to home.  

This is a brilliant job where I can amplify the AHP voice both within and outside the trust so that the full potential of AHPs and their 14 diverse skills sets, can be released for the benefit of our patients and communities, says Erin. “It is our time to wrap our skills around every person within our communities to help them to Start Well, Be Well and Live Well! 

My background is in physiotherapy and I have worked with several organisations within the Hampshire and IOW patch since qualifying 10 years ago. I’ve worked in nearly all fields of physiotherapy but chose to specialise in Neurology for three years before achieving my clinical ambition to work in Oncology and Palliative Care. Being able to work with palliative patients at a local hospice was so humbling and rewarding. The patient group are so connected with what really matters most that it really grounds you to the meaning of life 

Being able to support these people and work with them to achieve what matters most to them in that moment, to make a difference when time is short and life has changed course unexpectedly and unfairly, is unbelievably rewarding. There is so much respect for lived experiences and life within that community and you work within an environment of ultimate respect – respect for a life lived and life lost. It’s a mindful and humbling place to work and I’ve never felt so valued. No matter what patients were experiencing they always made you feel like you were enough and doing a great job. They conveyed total respect for human effort and just simply being human. You’re honestly never more connected with the value of life, than when you work with those coming to the end of theirs.  

After some time, I chose to move back to Solent NHS Trust to work on my other ambition of making physiotherapy education and access into the AHP professions as accessible and inclusive as possible. I feel passionately that the AHP career is for everyone, from every background and walk of life, and most definitely for those with disabilities! I have naturally found an ambition to make all the different areas of physiotherapy easy for others to learn, so when an opportunity came up to join the Educators in Practice team within the Learning & Development department, I had to take it!  

Being able to support the student experience on a wider scale and connecting with the universities to enable the development of our future workforce is such key and pivotal work. Understandably, when the secondment opportunity arose to provide professional leadership for all Solent AHPs it made complete sense to me to step up onto this platform and grab the chance to make an even greater difference. 

What Allied Health Professions mean to me is recognising that every life has value and should be given the opportunity, resources, time and support to excel. Being an AHP gives me a daily opportunity to recognise and completely respect the value of individual life, lived experiences and their unique contributions and drives me to find ways to ensure that is enabled for all. AHPs are highly skilled in critical analysis, problem-solving, and holistic thinking and I am proud to say I have enjoyed using each and every one of these skills in every role I have held. 

I am proud to be an AHP.”  

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

pals@solent.nhs.uk

 0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

Email: FreedomOfInformation@solent.nhs.uk

Phone: 023 8029 6911/22

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
Southampton
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at:

communications@solent.nhs.uk 

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.