Foreword by the Chief Health Professions Officer
Allied health professionals ( AHPs) in health and social care in Scotland  are making a significant contribution to driving service improvement and sustainability across community and acute sectors. Working as integral parts of multidisciplinary teams in multi-agency arrangements and focusing on people's personal outcomes, they provide preventative interventions in areas such as supported self-management, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitation and enablement services. As such, they will be key to supporting delivery of The Scottish Government's plan for transforming health and social care services in Scotland.
The breadth and depth of AHP skills and their reach across people's lives, communities and organisations makes them ideally placed to lead and support services towards a greater focus on prevention and early intervention. They also contribute to supporting people to live independently in their local communities and consequently reduce dependence on health and social care services.
AHPs have embraced the concept of co-production and delivering personal-outcomes approaches. Increasingly, they are shifting their focus to an earlier stage in a person's health and wellbeing journey, away from traditional models of provision in hospitals to where people live their daily lives. AHPs locally and nationally are extending their ambitions and improvement skills towards approaches that will also deliver the wider prevention, early intervention and enablement agendas set out in the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan.
The Active and Independent Living Programme ( AILP) will provide national improvement support and connectivity with other related policy work streams. A key element will be support for culture change across the professions to shape and drive improvement.
This document summarises the key ambitions of AILP, which are founded on public health and AHP evidence, current best practice and an extensive engagement process. It is not an exhaustive list, as the work will necessarily evolve as we better understand the needs of people and services through our AHP Lifecurve survey. I am nevertheless confident that actions arising from the ambitions will bring about more upstream working and improve outcomes and experiences for people who use services, their families and carers.
Our original commission from the Minister for Public Health was to make the contribution of AHPs more visible and accelerate the impact and spread of effective practice across Scotland, ensuring an explicit fit with the wider policy landscape. The AHP National Delivery Plan made measurable progress towards this goal, and we now have the opportunity to work with others to move to a clear focus on prevention and early intervention.
Jacqui Lunday Johnstone, OBE
Chief Health Professions Officer, Scottish Government
Email: Julie Townsend
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House