Allied Health Professions and Public Health: A transformational health alliance.

Allied Health Professions and Public Health: A transformational health alliance.

Written by Cecilia Thompson and Juliet McBean, NHS Grampian HealthWorks team,

on behalf of the AHP Associate Director Susan Carr and Dr Linda Leighton-Beck Head of Social Inclusion Public Health, NHS Grampian.

In NHS Grampian, a virtual AHP HealthWorks Team was created with members coming together from a number of the professions of the AHP family. This group formed an alliance with Public Health to deliver the Governments ‘Scottish Offer’ agenda. This has brought a powerful synergy to the task of embedding routine enquiry about a persons work status in clinical practice, effectively asking ‘the work question’.

Screenshot 2014-01-17 11.27.40

Addressing health inequalities by supporting people to overcome existing health barriers, addressing readiness to participate in health promoting behaviours, and realising the potential for self management of health-related issues are essential components in healthcare.

The NHS Grampian HealthWorks approach is to identify key patient pathways, and draw specifically on the AHP skillset to harness staff capability. Essentially this means AHPs acting as catalysts for transformational change in population health, because the consequence of worklessness is profound, long standing and can prolong intergenerational health inequality.


To embed this agenda, AHPS formatted pre and post questionnaires, to scope the confidence and competence of staff to ask patients about their work status. In addition AHPs delivered face to face training, adapted to reflect the needs of different clinical groupings. A local Z-card was produced as an effective signposting resource to enable staff to support patients in beginning to address their own employability needs. A clinical practice video demonstrating the ‘work’ question being asked was produced and stills from this are shown here within the blog.


NHS Grampian aspires to be a caring, listening and improving organization. Our AHP/Public Health approach to support staff to address ‘the work question’ demonstrates that universal services can be effectively engaged in delivering improved outcomes, with a lot of key people doing at least a little to effect change.


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