Allied health professionals' support for public health gathers pace

Allied health professionals have been considering how they can continue to impact positively on the public’s health, how best to measure the impact they have, and how to identify where they can do even more.

A new survey due to be published soon demonstrates that a big majority - 87% - of allied health professionals see public health as a core part of their professional practice and that most see the potential for AHPs to specialise in public health.

The survey findings are backed up by recent reports from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Centre for Workforce Intelligence and by an award from the RSPH that recognises AHPs’ contribution to health and wellbeing.

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What is public health?

Public health is about helping people to stay healthy and protecting them from threats to their health.

Sometimes public health activities involve helping individuals, at other times they involve dealing with wider factors that have an impact on the health of many people (for example an age group, an ethnic group, a locality, or a country).

Visit our Careers in public health section to find out more and see information about the public health careers available.

Social media support

To support the development of AHP public health roles further, a new Facebook group called AHPs4PH has been set up for AHPs who have an interest in public health. The group already has more than 1500 members and supports participants to keep up to date, share ideas, showcase good practice, develop networks and get peer support.

The allied health professions

There’s lots of detail about what allied health professionals do in our explore roles section, so have a look around. Could it be the profession for you?

Shared ambition

It’s two years since the 12 AHP professions agreed a shared ambition to increase recognition of their role in public health and they’ve continually sought ways to highlight the impact they make in health improvement, prevention and health protection.

Strategy

PHE and the AHP Federation (AHPF) published the first AHP Public Health Strategy for England in December 2015. The strategy sets out how PHE and the AHPF maintain the momentum to embed public health into all AHP roles and increase opportunities for AHPs to develop their careers and specialise in public health.

Training

A joint Council of Deans for Health and PHE report also shows that universities that are training future AHPs are increasing the public health component of their courses.

In addition, PHE is working with Health Education England and the Healthcare Professions Council to develop generic curriculum guidance on public health for all AHP courses.

 

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