This guest blog accompanies the launch of the updated Guidance: Public Health Content Within the Pre-Registration Curricula for Allied Health Professions.
We launched the Public Health Content within the Pre-Registration Curricula for Allied Health Professions guidance document in September 2017 to provide a consensus on public health content of pre-registration AHP curricula. Over the last five years, the progress of AHPs in relation to public health has been significant, including the launch and implementation of a new UK wide AHP Public Health Strategic Framework. Although we have made significant progress, we know a continued, radical upgrade in prevention is needed to ensure the sustainability of the health and social care system and improve the public’s health and wellbeing. The importance of public health, prevention and reducing health inequalities has been further emphasised by the COVID-19 pandemic and AHPs have been instrumental in the response to the immediate and long-term impact of the global pandemic.
Allied health professionals (AHPS) are recognised as having the skills, opportunity, and enthusiasm to be an integral part of the public health workforce. There are some excellent examples of AHP led public health initiatives, from giving children the best start in life to preventing falls in older adults. We need to maintain this momentum and spread good practice throughout the professions so this approach to prevention and population health becomes the norm.
One of the best ways of keeping up the momentum is to ensure the future AHP workforce is equipped with the skills, knowledge and attributes required to take a population health approach. Since the launch of the Public Health Content within the Pre-Registration Curricula for Allied Health Professions Guidance, many universities providing AHP education have taken steps to strengthen the public health components of their courses. To reflect the progress made by AHPs in Public Health and a plethora of new and updated guidance and resources, the curricula guidance has been reviewed.
The reviewed guidance is a supportive document to help shape individual professions curricula and to support universities to review and develop their courses. The guidance sets out 14 recommendations, and includes several updates to the original guidance document, including a greater emphasis on reducing health inequalities.
The education of the future workforce is influenced by many stakeholders, including professional bodies, the higher education sector, regulators and representatives across the four nations and these organisations and others have come together to review the collective guidance on the public health components of AHP pre-registration curricula.
I hope this guidance will be useful to higher education colleagues writing and reviewing programmes, professional bodies as they continue to support the role and contribution of AHPs in public health and regulators as they set standards for professionals’ education and training practice.
Deputy Chief AHP Officer for England
PHE Lead Allied Health Professional and National Engagement Lead for Public health in Police, Fire and Ambulance Services