More than 300 Scottish Allied Health Professionals converged on our capital city this week to consider the role of AHPs as Agents of Change in Health and Social Care. The buzz during the day was infectious as we were treated to a range of inspiring speakers and copious examples of excellent practice, as well as the launch of new tools to support AHP practice across all care groups.
As a Speech and Language Therapist, I was delighted to see the launch of NHS Education for Scotland’s on-line training package: Making Communication Even Better. Developed in partnership with Capability Scotland and Talking Mats, and involving members of Communication Forum Scotland, this resource highlights the power of the patient voice in shaping better services and emphasises the importance of effective communication in the provision of good health and social care – something I feel passionately about.
My other key messages from the event were…
- We cannot ignore the hi-tech nature of the world in which we now live and work and it is imperative that we embrace new technologies as a way to improve the delivery of our services.
- We need to re-frame what we understand by the term leadership, and encourage and value it at every level of our organisations.
- We must get better at measuring our impact as if we cannot demonstrate what difference we make, AHPs will continue to be poorly understood within the wider health service.
As the conference was coming towards its end, the Agents of Change were given a mission by M, aka Derek Feeley (CEO of NHS Scotland), to implement, innovate and improve within the services we deliver and I personally have chosen to accept this Mission Possible.