I am delighted to be celebrating the work of all allied health professionals across the UK, including those that HCPC regulates, on Allied Health Professions' Day. This day recognises the vital contribution made by allied health professionals to health and care services.
It is a recognition of a contribution which has been made over many years. The pandemic has finally shone a light on their work, with AHPs serving on the front line in the fight against a public health crisis like no other seen in our lifetimes. They have helped administer vaccines, care for COVID-19 patients and rehabilitate those suffering from long covid. They have worked flexibly and dynamically, often learning new skills and roles in multidisciplinary teams. Thousands of former AHPs and students made use of our temporary registers to join the frontline and boost health and care services.
We must recognise that AHPs were essential to our health service long before the pandemic, and will continue to be for many years to come. When policymakers and the media talk of our wonderful, world-leading health service, they must continue to highlight and value AHPs, recognising that treatment and care is not only the responsibility of doctors and nurses. As a regulator, we will continue to do all we can to highlight the excellent work of AHPs, and to help provide them with the right tools and support to be the very best they can be.
Change to healthcare regulation is around the corner as the Health and Care Bill passes through Parliament, and the government consults on the regulation of professions. It is crucial that we continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure the needs of AHPs are met and they are effectively supported in a reformed regulatory landscape. Reform is an opportunity that we must make the most of; an opportunity to embed the lessons learnt from COVID-19 and the innovative and agile ways of working which so many AHPs displayed.
We have been impressed and heartened by the ways in which our registrants and all AHPs have risen to the challenges presented to them, particularly over the last 18 months. I hope the dedication and courage they’ve shown and the public’s heartfelt gratitude to health and care services, will inspire others to consider a career as an AHP.
Many events will be taking place up and down the country today, focused on the key themes of celebrate, appreciate, inspire and connect. I hope that this is a turning point in public perceptions about the many people who provide support to patients and service users across the UK, and that AHPs continue to receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve. I, for one, will do everything I can to ensure this is the case.