Meet Ben and Anna – two allied health professionals of the future

The work of hundreds of Oxford Health professionals who make a massive difference to the lives of patients is being celebrated today.

Meet Ben and Anna – two allied health professionals of the future

And this year, for national Allied Health Profession (AHP) Day, the focus is on looking to the next generation of people training to join the second largest UK healthcare workforce and the life-changing impacts they will have on patient care and health in their careers. 

This year Oxford Health has given placements to 243 student AHPs – up 58% on the previous year. 

Ben Parameswaran, is a physio student who has recently completed a placement with Oxford Health as part of his study to qualify as an AHP. As well as learning about their specific subject area, students also develop other valuable skills.

He said: “My leadership placement with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has given me the opportunity to understand the importance of leadership within a healthcare setting and appreciate that everybody can be a leader in their own right throughout an organisation.

“I now recognise that I too can be a leader and inspire positive leadership behaviour in others around me. For example, I now go out of my way to better understand the roles of my colleagues, and this allows for a more connected service that empowers strategic alignment and working. I will also aim to actively celebrate the accomplishments, both small and large, of my colleagues as this not only demonstrates leading with care but also creates a welcoming and positive team culture.”

Another student who is getting a lot from her work with Oxford Health is  Anna Whistance, 21. She is a BSc Physiotherapy Student, Coventry University. She explained: “I am currently on my fourth placement, placed in Oxford’s Community Therapy Service (CTS) and Emergency Multidisciplinary Team (EMU) at Witney Community Hospital.   

“Both teams I am apart of are fantastic and completely supportive of me and my learning as well as my development as a future AHP.   

“I have really appreciated the readiness of my educators and other members of the MDT in answering all my questions and I have found working within the MDT an excellent resource for my wider learning.  

“Everyone who I have worked with thus far are incredible and it has inspired me to want to do my best and to give back to a team who has already given so much of their time and effort to me.  

“I have enjoyed having the chance to manage my own workload during this placement and this has given me the opportunity to pick up additional projects. A project I, along with other Physiotherapy students throughout the Oxford Health Trust, have embarked on is “How can CTS Teams work towards reducing the NHS Carbon Footprint”. 

“The project has given me the opportunity to connect with other students to create a project we are proud of, hoping to benefit the future of community therapy services.  

“I’m only a couple of weeks into this placement, thus far it has been so enjoyable, and I feel as though I have the space to develop and to become a valued member of the team.  

“Working with likeminded individuals is why I am so delighted to celebrate AHP Day, and I can’t wait to trade my student badge for a qualified badge and join the third largest workforce within the NHS!” 

There are 14 different disciplines in the AHP family and Oxford Health has eight of them embedded in its mental and community health settings across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset. 

These include podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists, art therapists, music therapists and speech and language therapists.

If you want to find out more about opportunities in the Allied Health Professions, take a look at this page.

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Published: 14 October 2021