So What?


2013 was the year of AHPs demonstrating the ‘so what’ of what they do.

Here are some of the thoughts from some of the AHPs who helped with this work.

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This year in the business of the AHPs in Scotland, I have repeatedly heard the first phrase, ‘So What?” – used as a call for us to be increasingly focused on being able to demonstrate the impact of our work. Like all phrases, ‘So what’ has a sentence in waiting, without which it can lend itself to reductionism and misuse. Used glibly and without care it can express the antithesis of person-centered leadership. For me, ‘So what?’ is incomplete without acknowledging the aspiration of ‘What if?’ and encouraging the pragmatics of ‘What next? What is doable now?’ My work in 2013 was to achieve consensus among the Allied Health Professions on Quality Service Values in Scotland, ‘So what?’ is my invitation to you to use them to drive cross- professional quality and service enhancement in whatever capacity lends itself to you.

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As I reflect on 2013 I find myself still surprised at what can be achieved through, sometimes, very short conversations and grasping an opportunity! These ‘coffee’ meetings can lead to transformational improvements that may never otherwise have happened. Reminder to self for 2014 keep investing in building strategic relationships it has the potential to make a significant difference in the world.

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@AHPScotBlog invited us to contribute to this blog on the “best of” 2013. Always a challenge to get it into one short paragraph but here goes.

My first would be delivering this year’s Dr Elizabeth Casson Memorial lecture at this years #COT2013, my topic was #transforamtionalleadership.
The second has been developing the #AHPDementia Expert group at @Alzscot.  In this group I have found a group of AHP’s who are committed, motivated & really want to make a difference to the future of AHP services for people with dementia, their families, partners & carers.

My final highlight is the opportunity to lead on commitment 4 in Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy#AHPDementia
My snapshot of highlights have all been an honour & privilege and I am looking forward to seeing what 2014 offers (as well as celebrating my 50th next year).

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I started my 18 month, 2-day a week secondment as the National AHP Lead for Cancer Rehabilitation in April 2012. It was a daunting time and for a while I felt I lacked direction as it was clear to me there was a lot to do and a lot to achieve. Never one to shy away from a task, and frequently one who is told to focus and start small, I wanted to do it all; and so it was great to be given a mentor and to meet the other National Leads on a monthly basis, as they helped me overcome some challenges and forge a path. One of the main issues I faced when I began was the fact that AHPs had limited involvement in cancer services, as cancer pathways have always tended to be based around a medical model, and so generally AHPs have been clustered around the acute treamtent phase of the illness and have only been called upon when specific problems have been identified.

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2013 has been the year of AHPs making purposeful strides into the world of social media. We have demonstrated that when AHPs work together they have a powerful message to sell —- and one which people seem to want to read about —- as the 5,000 AHPScot blog views have demonstrated since it was launched in April. For 2014 the next steps are to link more with AHP Federation Scotland to support us in joining with individual professional bodies to help with the spread and impact of what we are saying. This was especially relevant when we linked with Exercise Works to show the power of social media and blog about the important role AHPs need to play in promoting physical activity.

The #ahpconversation is just beginning.

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There have been many highlights for me in 2013, I think the AHP dementia consultants Jenny Reid, Sandra Shafee and Elaine Hunter have truly consolidated  their important work in 2013 and made a big difference this year,  there work goes from strength to strength. Locally my AHP MSK team Wendy Johnson, Eddie Balfour, Helen Fitzgerald  and the senior team have worked very hard to embed the MSK pathway redesign, preliminary 4 week target ground work and embedding a redesigned self referral system in Lothian which has been no small feat. Finally I would commend the tremendous social media awareness campaigns, tweets and blogs from the #AHPScot community out their to promote physical activity and helping to the get the nation active through AHP Pledge. I look forward to a busy and active 2014.

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As AHP National Lead for Children and Young People I felt spoilt for choice in compiling my contribution to AHPs in 2013; So what? However, I felt that a patient’s story was a powerful way to demonstrate the impact of AHPs. This patient story focuses on a rapid response community physiotherapy service for children with complex respiratory needs.

“My daughter has complex neurological and respiratory problems. As well as her numerous out-patient appointments she has frequent prolonged admissions to hospital with chest problems. The new respiratory community service has already been a godsend. My daughter had a slight cough and the physiotherapist was able to come out that day and also took a specimen. It turned out she was growing a nasty bug which she has had before and caused her to be quite unwell and have lots of admissions. This time a prescription was at my GPs for collection that day. I am convinced that this new service has meant we have not had to wait until she was very unwell  when the bug was harder to get rid of and she would have been in hospital again. Being in hospital is very difficult to manage with work, child care and family life. This service has brought expert care to my home and meant a much faster response than having to present to A& E.”



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