Staff who play a key role in transforming health, care and wellbeing for Walsall residents will take centre stage next week when the first ever national Allied Health Professionals Day is staged.
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) help people of all ages with services ranging from healthy childhood through to supporting older people with frailty.
Staff from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s hospital and community services will be hosting an information stand in the main atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital on Monday 15 October between 9.30am and 2pm. Visitors – and staff – will have an opportunity to speak to students on placement and find out more about the role.
Megan Parr, Practice Education Facilitator for Allied Health Professions, said: “This first AHPs focus day was sparked by a twitter conversation last April and now we’re counting down to the big day.
“When it comes to healthcare people will always think of doctors and nurses – and they do a fantastic job – but we’re keen to raise the profile of AHPs and show the significant contribution they make to the lives of so many people. Their roles are so varied and an important element of a sustainable NHS.”
Among Walsall Healthcare’s AHPs is Dr Dominic Crowley a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and head of the Clinical Health Psychology Service which is a psychology service working in physical health.
“We see people who primarily have a physical health condition and have psychological difficulties associated with their physical health. The psychological difficulties may affect how the person copes and manages their physical condition and sometimes the emotional difficulties may contribute to the physical condition.
“Clinical Psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological wellbeing and functioning. They deal with a wide range of mental and physical health problems including; anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, addictions, psychoses, learning disabilities, neurological assessment and rehabilitation.
“I personally work in the areas of stroke and general medical referrals which can include; Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, Respiratory Disorders, health related Post Traumatic Stress and Non Epileptic Attack Disorder. My psychologist colleagues in the service work in Cancer Services, Neurological Rehabilitation, Pain Management and HIV.
“We look at how a physical condition has impacted on an individual’s emotional wellbeing as well as their behaviour and relationships. People may have difficulties accepting a diagnosis, adjusting to a condition emotionally and managing their condition. The persons mental/ cognitive abilities may also be affected by their physical condition. Conversely, emotional factors such as stress, anxiety and depression may be impacting on their physical health. Stress is often associated with physical symptoms which can exacerbate a physical health condition.
“The area of physical health psychology, how our bodies interact with our minds and how our minds interact with our bodies is a fascinating area to work in. The work is varied and very interesting.”
As well as a raffle, there will also be a limited number of national AHP pin badges to hand out to AHP staff who visit the stand on the day.