Allied health professionals

AHP is an umbrella term for a range of professions and includes registered Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) practitioners and support staff. AHPs are a diverse group of professionals supporting people of all ages to live healthy, active and independent lives.

AHPs are a distinct group of practitioners who apply their expertise to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate people of all ages across health, education and social care. We have provided a list of the types of AHPs for information.

The Chief Health Professions Officer (CHPO) provides professional leadership and is the policy lead for the 12 Allied Health Profession (AHP) Groups. The CHPO provides advice to Ministers and the Government on professional matters affecting all disciplines including education, training, workforce, regulation and role/service development as well as leading on policy for adult rehabilitation and falls prevention.

You can find more information on our work relating to AHPs below:

Early intervention and prevention 

We published Allied Health Professions: co-creating wellbeing with the people of Scotland in June 2017. This is a framework for Allied Health Professionals to work in partnership with people and help them live healthy, active and independent lives – known as the active and independent living programme (AILP).

A series of AHP resources has been developed by the AHP Fellowship Scheme in NHS Education Scotland. These will help staff to embed a personal outcomes approach across their services. 

Vocational rehabilitation (Work Ready)

We develop policy to provide support to AHPs to stay in, return to or enter employment. 

We provide funding for the Work Ready programme which flows from the AILP. Work ready aims to ensure that AHPs have the relevant level of knowledge and skills to support individuals who access their services to stay in, return to or enter employment.

More information on vocational rehabilitation is on the NHS Education for Scotland website. 

Children and Young People’s services 

We published Ready to Act in January 2016. It was the first plan to focus on allied health professionals (AHPs) working with children and young people in Scotland and demonstrates their essential role in the strategic planning, development and delivery of services.

We published a progress report on the implementation of the plan in November 2018. 

More information can be found on the AHP CYP Community of Practice website.

 Allied Health Professional Operational Measures

The National Delivery Plan for the Allied Health Professions in Scotland 2012–2015 called for AHPs ‘to be more visible, accountable and impact orientated’ and highlighted the need for ‘better measurement, data collection and e-health’.

The AHP Operational Measures (AHPOM) project  was set up to address gaps in AHP data which make it difficult to evidence the value that these professions bring. The project will develop a national AHPOM dataset, create a national data repository and engage with health and care organisations to establish commitment for collecting and collating AHP data nationally.

More information on AHPOM is available on the ISD Scotland website.

The Musculoskeletal Programme (MSK)

Musculoskeletal describes a range of conditions affecting the bones and joints.

The Musculoskeletal Programme (MSK) was created to inform the delivery of MSK services fit for the future. 

We published our framework for AHPs to support the implementation of standards to support musculoskeletal pathways in May 2015. This is under review.

We set a target for NHSScotland that from 1 April 2016, the maximum wait for AHP MSK Services from referral to first clinical out-patient appointment will be 4 weeks (for 90% of patients). More information on MSK waiting times is available on the ISD Scotland website.

More information on the MSK advice and triage service, as well as the MSK help app is on the NHS Inform website.