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Celebrating our Allied Health Professionals

Celebrating our Allied Health Professionals

Today NCH&C is celebrating AHPs’ Day in recognition of all the remarkable work our Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) do in delivering care to patients in the community. As the third-largest clinical workforce group within health and care, AHPs play a pivotal role in supporting the NHS Long-Term Plan. The theme for this year’s AHPs’ Day is: AHPs in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills which recognises this valuable contribution, and aims to spotlight careers in the 15 AHP specialisms.

AHPs play a vital role in enabling and enhancing patients’ recovery from a range of illnesses and injuries, and supporting those with life limiting conditions. Read more below from Carolyn Fowler, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality, and Kate Pontin, Operations Director for Transformation and Delivery, about how valued our AHP workforce are at NCH&C and how we are committed to working with them on future developments for the trust.

Carolyn FowlerCarolyn Fowler, Executive Director or Nursing and Quality at NCH&C and also our AHP lead

“To all our Allied Health Professionals I want to wish you a happy AHPs’ Day and celebrate the incredible contribution you make with all our colleagues to the quality of the patient care we give. I know that AHPs are each unique and not just one group of staff. You bring a huge variety of specialised and individual skills and knowledge.

“Each one of your professions deserves their own day but this is just one way to say thank you and remind everyone of what you do, that is so special.

“Having listened to what is important to you, I know career progression and equal opportunities is key. Welcoming Kate Harman and Zoe Carroll  into our teams to specifically support you with learning and development, the championing of your roles and career opportunities has been a starting point. I hope in the coming months we can do more to make your working environment the best it can be, and that you keep telling me what is important to you.

“Have a great day and be proud of who you are and what you do.”

Watch Carolyn’s video message for NCH&C AHPs here.

Kate Pontin

Kate Pontin, Operations Director for Transformation and Delivery at NCH&C

Before training to become an Occupational Therapist (OT), Kate was a qualified nurse and worked as a therapy assistant. She qualified as an OT in 2001 and worked as a rotational B5 in Sheffield. While on rotation she did medicine, orthopaedics, amputee rehabilitation, burns and plastics, cardiac rehab and A&E.

Kate then moved to a B6 position in A&E and a five day turn around unit, which worked with social care and the voluntary sector.

When she moved to Norfolk, Kate worked at the NNUH before moving to NCH&C in 2004, working in North Norfolk covering both wards and community. She became OT clinical lead for the North in 2008 and then in 2014 was promoted to Head of Integrated Care for South.

After working in the integrated space alongside social care she had the opportunity to apply for the Deputy Director for Integrated Care, which she started in February 2018. During the Primary Care Network (PCN) restructure in 2019 she applied for an Operational Director post for South and started that in 2020.

Throughout her time managing teams Kate has kept a strong focus on putting the patient first, maintaining core OT values and principles, and developing her leadership skills. As part of AHPs’ Day, she has this message for all AHPs at NCH&C:

“We recently got the go ahead to build a new unit at Norwich Community Hospital. The Willow Unit will have an underpinning therapy ethos, with staff working as a whole team. Each member of the team will play an active part in supporting patients to achieve their functional goals. This will enable therapists and nursing colleagues to work alongside each other collaborating seamlessly to promote discharge. This is a hugely exciting development for NCH&C and its AHPs.

“I was very recently appointed as Operations Director for Transformation and Delivery at NCH&C. As part of this role I’ll be leading on writing an AHP strategy for NCH&C and working alongside AHP colleagues to find out what matters to you. I want to know how you see the future of AHP development and careers at NCH&C and in the Norfolk and Waveney system as a whole, and to ensure that your voice is heard in the strategy.  I look forward to meeting more AHP colleagues and collaborating with you.”

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