Allied health professionals (AHPs) — professional leadership


This collection of resources highlight the benefit and impact of AHP leadership at all levels.

Allied health professionals (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS. Made up of 14 unique and diverse professions, their practice is integral to most clinical pathways. They work across organisational boundaries, providing solution-focused, goal-centred care to support patients’ independence.

Our work has revealed wide variation in the way AHPs are led across the NHS in England, but it found that in the small number of trusts that had introduced a chief AHP leader with strategic responsibility, improvement activity markedly benefited and AHPs had a higher profile.


Thought pieces

About our offer

Our work on AHP leadership will enable trusts and systems to improve AHP leadership capacity and capability for their AHP workforce. The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the importance of visible senior clinical leadership in enabling and assuring the delivery of high-quality care, both within organisations and in the new system architecture. It also highlights the importance of realising the transformative potential of the AHP workforce, as described in AHPs into action, the national AHP framework.

Despite the benefits for patients, organisations and the wider system from having dedicated substantive chief AHP leadership, historical practices and gaps often stand in the way of realising these benefits.  

Since our work began, the number of trusts with chief AHPs has continued to grow, demonstrating an appetite from the system for such roles. In fact, more than 65 trusts have been contacted us to ask for support in reviewing their AHP leadership structures.

Through our AHP leadership support programme, we continue to support trusts to review their AHP leadership capacity and capability with new resources, self-assessment diagnostics, one-to-one support and bespoke deep-dive trust workshops.

Support is also available for chief AHPs currently in, or new to the role, in the form of the Chief AHPs’ Virtual Network and coaching and mentoring provision. Please contact using the details below to find out more.

Get involved

  • on Twitter by using #AHPLeadership, #AHPsintoAction and #ChiefAHPs
  • we recognise there is no ‘best practice’ model of AHP leadership, so we are keen to hear about your experiences — about what works and what does not — so we can work together to make the most of the value AHPs bring to the workforce. Please contact us at 
  • tell us how we can improve this resource further by contacting us at

Key drivers for improving AHP leadership

Is there anything wrong with this page?

Help us improve this website

Do not include any personal, sensitive or confidential information.