Our mental health dietetics team has made it onto the ‘Workforce Transformation’ shortlist at the CAHPO Awards 2022 for their efforts to develop a sustainable team and future workforce. The CAHPO awards are the awarded by the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer and the shortlisting alone represents a major achievement.
AHPs are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS. There are 14 different disciplines in the AHP family and Oxford Health has eight of them embedded in its mental health, children’s services, specialised services 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.
Lucy Gardner, Professional Lead Dietitian in Mental Health and Learning Disability, said: “There are significant challenges in recruiting and retaining dieticians in mental health. Traditionally, student placement programmes focus on acute hospital environments and medical nutrition therapy which can be at odds with our needs as a mental health trust.
“For this reason we have taken an approach of ‘growing our own’ and taking steps that we hope will sustainably expand our workforce.”
To achieve this a new Professional Lead mental health dietitian has been appointed and two new dietetic apprenticeships have been created. Other recruitment initiatives have seen new posts created to focus on mental health and CAMHS and two dietitians have joined the Trust from overseas.
Lucy explained: “We have created a structure that not only meets our immediate needs but also makes working for us attractive to existing and studying dietitians. And by offering apprenticeships and hands-on experience for people training and studying we hope to be seen as a great place to work.”
The award winners will be announced at a special ceremony on October 13.
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Published: 21 September 2022