We’ve created this blog to allow Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) from all over Scotland to share their personal thoughts, views, news and invite comment and reactions from anyone with an interest!
Over the next few months, the AHPScot blog will post contributions from AHPs keen, willing and brave enough to share their own thoughts. We hope you will find this of interest.
So, who are ‘we’? ‘We’ are an eclectic group of AHPs, mainly (but not exclusively) in positions of leadership in Scotland keen to provide better patient care, to develop AHP practice and raise awareness of the contribution we make.
So who am I? My name is Lesley Holdsworth and I’m an AHP Director most recently based within NHS 24. My remit was to develop AHP practice through the use of a range of technologies, things like the telephone, the internet, TV etc. You can read more about the work I am involved in here .
So, why start a blog page for AHPs? I’d like to share my own experiences of using social media. Just last year, I had no experience or even much of an idea about social media, things like Twitter and blogs but knew that others were actively using it. What I also knew however was that we AHPs have a bit of a problem. We are pretty much invisible. Very few people are aware of the roles we play particularly in supporting and enabling people and that extends to the public, fellow colleagues in health and social care and those that set policy direction and determine services. While chewing over this meaty issue with three like minded AHP leaders, we decided to explore whether social media could help. The question we were keen to find out was: Can social media raise the profile of the AHPs? Could it help?
So the four of us wiling guineas pigs, embarked on an experiment and Project Gandhi was born. Basically this involved learning and using new social media skills – a steeper learning curve for some than others! To read about our progress, what we did and the results achieved look here. The upshot is that we have seen what social media has to offer and are impressed. We were able to reach audiences previously unavailable to us, we have established new networks with patients, the public, colleagues from all over the world and those who have influence in healthcare, for example health ministers and key policy makers. Although a regular tweeter @lesleyahpd I am not the most prolific blogger in our small group by any means but do check out Lynne and Elaine for great examples of really interesting AHP blogs. Another great place to view Scottish blogs can be found at (Ayrshire WordPress) with whom we will be directly linking this blog page with into the future. Although not a frequent blogger, at the end of last year, after pen to paper at the end attending a meeting that really inspired me, I did feel compelled to write about that experience and what it meant for me. My blog was about what healthcare could learn from the police about their use of social media. Within one week of posting the blog, it had escalated through Twitter to more than 4,000 people and discussed widely throughout the UK, Europe and other worldwide countries.
That experience further convinced me of how powerful social media can be – that we need to be using all avenues available to us to engage, share and learn. Twitter and blogs for example are great ways of providing us with a very real opportunity to raise our profile, sharing and engaging with wide ranging audiences
The series of blogs planned for the next few months look really exciting and I look forward to reading what you think, your views and your news. Help us lift the cloak of invisibility that hangs around AHPs!
So, what do you think?
Join us on Twitter! @AhpscotBlog
Here are a few other Scottish AHPs active on Twitter to get you started: