Allied Health Professionals (AHPs)

AHPs work in our hospitals and local communities supporting patients in lots of different ways.

We employ 11 types of AHP.

  • Diagnostic radiographers
  • Dietitians
  • Music therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Operating department practitioners
  • Orthoptists
  • Orthotists and prosthetists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Therapeutic radiographers

Case studies

  • Critical care dietitian - Georgia's story

    Georgia Hardy, critical care dietitian"As a specialist critical care dietitian my day begins by identifying and prioritising which patients on the unit need to be seen. I go to the morning meeting where the doctors update the team on each patient’s progress, and I can update them on any nutrition issues.

    "After the meeting I see the individual patients who require a nutritional assessment. I look at how well nourished each patient is and consider the impact of any medical conditions and treatments.

    "I design a plan to meet the nutrition needs specific to each patient. This is usually via a feeding tube into the gut (enteral feeding) or, if the gut can’t be used, then straight into the bloodstream (parenteral feeding).

    "The best parts of my job are:

    • knowing that I can make a real difference to a patient's recovery from critical care
    • the close relationship with colleagues in the multi-professional team. Having worked at other large hospitals, this is something that sets Guy's and St Thomas' apart. Discussing a patient's nutrition with the medical, nursing and other allied health professionals is part of routine practice
    • working alongside and learning from some of the top dietitians in the country
    • support for research activities. We are currently taking part in an international randomised nutrition trial where my colleagues and I are involved in screening, recruitment, data collection and designing a nutrition plan which meets the study requirements. Not only following the evidence base, but helping add to it is a huge highlight."
  • Learning disability physiotherapist - Ruksana's story

    Ruksana Fauzel-Abbas, learning disability physiotherapist"I chose to become a learning disability physiotherapist to help understand my brother's profound and multiple learning disabilities and the best ways to practically assist him - and then to use my experience, knowledge and skills to help many others like him.

    "I love my job and believe our team is the best for this speciality in the UK. The role draws on knowledge and skills from musculoskeletal, neurological, orthopaedic, rehabilitation, elderly care and respiratory physiotherapy and there is lots of ongoing learning to keep skills up to date.

    "We have a very supportive team and management, the community learning disability team (CLDT) is a five-day service and this, along with hot desking and flexible working, means I have a great work-life balance.

    "I have a varied caseload involving physiotherapy assessment, treatment and management of people with mild, moderate, severe and profound and multiple learning disabilities in a variety of settings. The job involves regular one-to-one, group supervision and in-service training.

    "There is time for more meaningful contact with clients, support for continuing professional development and research, regular rebound therapy (physiotherapy on a trampoline) and hydrotherapy.

    "This flexibility, versatility, support and especially being able to make a positive change to the lives of people with a learning disability and their care network is why I enjoy my job and working at Guy's and St Thomas' so much."

  • Podiatrist - David's story

    David Walker, podiatrist

    "During my time studying sports science I developed a real interest in the lower limb, and more specifically the rehabilitation and biomechanics of the foot and ankle.

    "I've always been interested in healthcare but chose podiatry because it allows me to immerse myself into one particular field and get a deeper understanding of how the muscles, bones and joints of the feet and lower limb interact and move.

    "My journey started as an undergraduate in Glasgow and, after graduating in 2015, I moved to London. When the opportunity arose to work for Guy's and St Thomas', I could not say no as I knew of the Trust's reputation for clinical excellence and being world famous for research.

    "Now I am part of this I am witnessing the reputation first hand with their belief in evidence-based practice and in the innovative and forward thinking services. Even though are we one of the largest and busiest Trusts in the country, the quality of care we provide for our patients is still paramount.

    "One of the main factors behind my decision to join this Trust was the job and development opportunities. I have started my MSc in podiatric surgery and receive support in terms of study leave and some funding. This has allowed me to develop my skills and undergo highly specialised learning which not only advances my personal career, but contributes to the common good.

    "My role sees me working within the community podiatry service and in the acute aspect of foot health. No day is the same and this variety is one of the most exciting things about the job.

    "As well as seeing a different range of patients and conditions, I have had the opportunity to work within the multi-disciplinary team and in a wide-range of the different clinical services within podiatry.

    "I am fortunate enough to be part of an exceptional team of supportive colleagues with a wealth of knowledge and clinical expertise, and through my within the Trust I like that I am able to make more of an impact than I would have ever expected."

  • Speech and language therapist - Lucy's story

    Lucy Allen, speech and language therapist "I first became interested in topics related to speech and language therapy during my undergraduate degree in psychology. I was fortunate to gain a shadowing opportunity at a neuro-rehabilitation unit following a speech and language therapy team for one week. This exposed me to the full spectrum that speech and language therapy covers – from speech, communication and swallowing impairments within a rehabilitation setting.

    "During my masters I worked as a speech and language therapy assistant at St Thomas’ Hospital and after qualifying I knew I wanted to come back to the Trust. I now currently work with adults covering the cardiac surgery, vascular surgery and cardiology wards.

    "My caseload comprises patients with dysphagia (swallowing impairment) – my role is to establish what is safe for patients to eat and drink orally. This involves regular swallowing assessments to look for any signs of aspiration (food or drink entering the airway) which can be done at the patient’s bedside. We also commonly use other types of assessments to examine swallow safety such as using an x-ray or camera in the throat (videofluoroscopy or fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing).

    "Working as a speech and language therapist is extremely rewarding, especially if you have been working with a patient who has been nil by mouth and through therapy can now eat and drink again.

    "I enjoy the problem solving aspect of the job, developing a therapeutic relationship with patients and families, and being an important member of the multidisciplinary team to establish the cause of swallowing or communication impairments. I feel constantly motivated and well supported here at St Thomas’ Hospital and am fortunate to work with such a fantastic team of therapists."

 

Find out more about AHP careers on the NHS health careers website and see our latest AHP vacancies.