Developing Allied Health Professionals public health knowledge and capabilities: outcomes of a North West region-wide training programme

Stephen Clayton, G Rawlinson, A Milston, S Fisher, H Roddam, D Gurbutt, D Nuttall, N Gaskins, H Robinson, P Dey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Background A key priority for the UK NHS is to shift towards preventative models of health care and improve health promotion outcomes. Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are well placed to influence individual health behaviours and promote population-level health initiatives. Lack of training and awareness of AHP’s public health (PH) role has been identified as a barrier to implementation of relevant public health initiatives. Methods Following scoping work, this pilot project developed, implemented and evaluated a series of workshops across North West (NW) England, to engage and educate the AHP workforce on PH interventions. The objectives were to identify changes to AHP’s attitudes and PH practice, including use of healthy conversations. An inter-professional learning approach was used. Content included; wider determinants of health, PH intervention strategies, PH commissioning and healthy conversations. Five follow-on half day workshops focussed on key PH priorities; young people, older people and emotional wellbeing. Questionnaires were used to evaluate individual workshops, and attitude change towards embedding public health interventions in daily practice (baseline, 3 and 6 months). Focus groups explored AHP’s attitudes towards PH practice, training needs and implementation barriers. Results 178 AHP’s attended the workshops which were evaluated positively. Thematic analysis of post-workshop focus groups revealed positive attitudes towards the training and its inter-professional nature. Barriers identified included lack of PH theory training, perceived time restraints and lack of confidence to address key PH issues. Findings have been used to develop a training package for embedding PH knowledge and skills in AHP practice. Discussions and Conclusions The workshop delivery method was successful in eliciting positive change in AHP’s attitudes to PH practice and implementation of healthy conversations, however barriers still exist. Further evaluation is required to measure the impact of interventions on PH outcomes. Educational resources to engage all physiotherapists and AHPs in PH practice have been developed for dissemination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Jun 2016
EventInternational Festival of Public Health - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jul 2016 → …


ConferenceInternational Festival of Public Health
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period1/07/16 → …


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