Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has spoken of her dismay at the loss of senior clinicians in the allied health professional workforce in Scotland.
Ms McTaggart voiced her concerns during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 19th June which recognised the important role AHPs play in the NHS.
During the debate, Ms McTaggart highlighted figures from NHS Scotland’s workforce statistics which reveal there has been a 10% reduction in senior clinician posts since 2010. She reiterated the concerns of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy who have stated that this reduction in the number of senior grade roles means that the experience and knowledge of those clinicians will be lost to patients.
She also called for an audit of the 2012 national delivery plan for AHPs in order to identify good practice and provide greater support for AHPs in Scotland. The delivery plan is a significant document, offering important recognition of both the role and the contribution of AHPs in health and social care. It also recognises the potential of those professions to deliver improved services across health and social care.
Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said “All of us in the chamber recognise the role and celebrate the valued contribution of allied health professionals in health and social care. They play a vital role in our communities, leading the way to enable people to lead independent lives outside hospital and residential settings.
“It remains essential that the allied health professions are valued for their specific and unique contribution to service provision and to fulfilling the wider aims of health policy in Scotland. However, an audit of the AHP national delivery plan is essential in order to support AHPs by understanding the areas that are most in need, focusing on the performance of self-referral as a primary access route.
“It is vital that we continue to pay tribute to all AHPs for the changes that they are making in delivering new models of care; supporting self-management, innovation and improved outcomes; and enabling independent living. All of those are essential in securing sustainable and affordable health and social care services for the future.”
You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.