Why you should join our AHP PAG

28 Apr 2023

My name’s Danni Bear, and as the Chair of the AHP Professional Advisory Group (PAG) I wanted to introduce you to the group, and tell you a bit about what we’re up to this year.

The current AHP PAG includes 7 members; four Speech and Language Therapists (Sarah Wallace, Eileen Kelly, Gemma Jones and Carmel Richardson), two Occupational Therapists (James Bruce and Claire Rock) and one Dietitian (Me!). ‘Where are the Physiotherapists?!’ I hear you ask… do not fear, they have a separate PAG and you can read all about the great work they are doing here. We are in close contact with the Physio PAG to ensure that we have well rounded discussions and are as inclusive as possible in the decisions that we make on behalf of all AHPs.

The majority of the current PAG were elected in 2021 and we have been very busy since. One of our main priorities was to secure representation from Occupational Therapy and we were very fortunate to have co-opted James and Claire into the PAG early this year. As we provide insight, advice and guidance to the Intensive Care Society for all things to do with AHPs working in Critical Care, it’s very important for us to be able to fairly and accurately represent all professions working in critical care under the AHP umbrella, so this was a great achievement for us. With nominations currently open to join the AHP PAG, we would like to extend this invitation to ODPs too!

We have had a really busy year contributing to multiple streams within the ICS. We are really proud to have provided significant input into the strategy for 2023-2027 to ensure that AHPs are represented throughout. This was an interesting exercise where we had some time with Sandy Mather, Society Chief Executive to talk through priorities and rank them. It led to some excellent discussions and was a great way to begin to understand more about the values the Society holds.

Besides contributing to the strategy, we were heavily involved in the State of Art Congress in 2022 and are busy planning for 2023 which is coming around very fast! Our PAG session on multi-professional careers was really well received last year so there will be a similarly themed session for this year. We are also contributing to sessions on workforce, management of high flow nasal oxygen, nutrition and helping with chairing duties and abstract/poster judging as always. SOA is a great way to really showcase the multi-professional team so this is an important yearly event for us.

Contributing to the wider education programme for the Society is high on our AHP PAG agenda and we have Eileen and James representing us on the Education committee. Our aim is to ensure that there is multi-professional representation on each of the education events (where appropriate) and you’ll see some great AHP speakers at most of the upcoming educational events this year.

Our biggest piece of work for the coming year will be contributing to the AHP Capability Framework which is a project in partnership with NHS Elect and NHSE. At present, interviews are underway for the professional lead posts for each profession and following that, the clinical groups will be formed. This is a really great opportunity for us to build on the AHP professional development framework and the profession specific pillars that so much work went into. On this note, I can’t end without mentioning that the OT pillar was published last year, completing the four main AHP groups (dietetics, SLT, physio and OT) for this piece of work. We’re looking forward to seeing where this wider piece of work leads and hope that it is beneficial to all of us working in critical care.

Overall, I can say that being the Chair of the AHP PAG gives me a lot of professional satisfaction as I get to work closely with my AHP colleagues and learn from them as we aim to ensure we have strong voice within the UK critical care landscape. The Intensive Care Society is a truly multi-professional society and it’s amazing to feel that our voices are heard and that we are supported in our endeavours. We would love you to consider joining us to achieve our goals for the coming year and even if you don’t join the PAG, feel free to reach out and say hi and let us know if there is anything that you think we could do to better represent you.