The Allied Health Professions’ (AHP) Council for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is delighted to have been successful in a recent funding bid to enhance AHP apprenticeships. The bid, which was made to Health Education England (HEE) last month, was one of six selected for the East Midlands region.

HEE announced in early December that it would be making a number of regional funding awards to support the development of AHP ‘Faculty Test Beds’ – money to develop and train the local AHP workforce in line with the objectives set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and Interim People Plan.

There are 14 allied health professions, including podiatry, dietetics, occupational and physio therapy, radiography and speech and language therapy. As the lead organisation for the bid, we already have a proven record of AHP apprenticeships at level 4 and level 6 across speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. The £20k funding (which runs until the end of March 2020) will be used to further extend the existing apprenticeship programme to more of the allied health professions, creating a toolkit to enable other areas and organisations across the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland system to support apprentices within their teams, and provide a quality experience for them. This is in line with the local AHP Council’s strategic plan, and will facilitate successful recruitment and retention.

Deanne Rennie and Stephanie O’Connell, our AHP leads and founding members of the AHP Council for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “We’re so delighted to have been successful in securing the funding for the East Midlands region. As an AHP Faculty Test Bed, we will focus on creating a comprehensive and high quality apprenticeship framework, developing support tools that can be used locally, regionally and nationally to encourage different entry routes into AHP roles and ensuring a sustainable workforce for the future.”