Suzanne Rastrick (pictured) is the NHS Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, who coincidentally had her first student mental health placement at the Warneford Hospital.

Allied health professionals (AHPs) include occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians, paramedics, podiatrists,  and others, and our lead occupational therapist Rebecca Kelly and lead community AHP Sara Bolton organised a varied programme for Suzanne’s visit:  she toured the Oxfordshire Recovery College, the Oxford City Community Hospital, the Highfield Unit, Cotswold House, and a lunch event showcasing the launch of our allied health professional strategy.

Writing on twitter, Suzanne described her visit as “thought provoking”, and during a stopover at the City Community Hospital, she described how our allied health professionals made “a genuine impact on outcomes for older adult mental health users..” She also said that she was “delighted” to support the launch of our allied health professional strategy.

Rebecca Kelly said, “Suzanne Rastrick’s visit to the Trust was a roaring success: she provided all of us with a really thought provoking, inspirational boost, and helped us to launch our allied health professional strategy with a big bang.”

“We spent some rather damp time at Elder Stubbs in Cowley, talking to the team about the fantastic work they are doing within the recovery college, followed by the City Community Hospital and the Sandford ward.

“Here we heard about (and experienced!) the mobility programmes and the occupational/developmental based model used to design the activity programme for patients that has really helped with engagement.”

“In the afternoon, we visited the Highfield unit and met some of the young people to see the wonderful Artscape projects they have been involved in creating.”

“We then went to Cotswold house and talked to the occupational therapists and dieticians, and heard from the manager about what a crucial a role they have in the eating disorder service, as part of a multi-disciplinary team.”

“We finished the day by meeting a GP in one of the Oxfordshire federations, to hear about the new and innovative work the physiotherapists are doing in primary care with the PhysioFirst project.”

“We came away really excited at the prospect of moving forward in delivering a strategy where allied health professionals can be at the forefront in helping to deliver the NHF five year forward view.”