Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS and, in England, comprises 14 distinct professional groups:
- Art Therapists
- Drama Therapists
- Music Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Operating Department Practitioners
- Prosthetists and Orthotists
- Speech and Language Therapists
AHPs provide high quality care to patients and clients across a wide range of care pathways and in a variety of settings that include hospitals, community, primary care, the independent and charitable sectors and schools.
AHPs have professional titles recognised by NHS England and are protected by law. In order to use these professional titles, AHPs must be registered with a regulatory body. Most Allied Health Professionals are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), with the only exception being Osteopaths who are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOC).
The Interim NHS People Plan, to support the NHS Long Term Plan, describes AHPs as central to meeting the changing demands that the NHS faces. It describes AHPs as being instrumental in delivering person-centred, evidence-based care, as clinical leaders and practitioners.