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Allied Health Professionals

There are various allied health professional (AHP) groups working within Southern Health. They work in both physical health, mental health and learning disability services, in the hospital environment, clinics, people's homes, and alongside other professionals such as nurses, GPs, hospital doctors and social workers.  All our AHP’s take students.

Allied health professionals have particular skills and expertise to help people overcome illness and disabilities or have special needs and need help with day to day living.

There are 14 professional bodies considered AHP’s, many of them work within SHFT.  The 14 include

  1. Art Therapists
  2. Drama therapists
  3. Music therapists
  4. Chiropodists/podiatrists
  5. Dietitians
  6. Occupational therapists
  7. Operating Department Practitioners
  8. Orthoptists
  9. Osteopaths
  10. Paramedics
  11. Physiotherapists 
  12. Prosthetists and Orthotists 
  13. Radiographers 
  14. Speech and language therapists

Art therapists use art as a form of psychotherapy to encourage clients to explore a variety of issues including emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions or physical illnesses.

 People of all ages from children to the elderly, regardless of artistic experience, use art therapy in this way as an aid to supporting them with their particular concern. It is not a diagnostic tool but rather a mode of communication and expression. 

Art, Drama and Music therapists are employed within our specialised mental health services and learning disability services.

Drama Therapists are both clinicians and artists that draw on their knowledge of both theatre/drama and therapy to use performance arts as a medium for psychological therapy.  Clients are able to explore a wide variety of different issues and needs from autism and dementia to physical/sexual abuse and mental illness in an indirect way leading to psychological, emotional and social changes.  

Art, Drama and Music therapists are employed within our specialised mental health services and learning disability services.

Music therapists engage clients in live musical interaction so as to promote an individual’s emotional wellbeing and improve their communication skills.  Clients do not need to have any previous experience of playing a musical instrument (or even singing) as this established psychological clinical intervention utilises their unique connection to music and the relationship established with their therapist to help: develop and facilitate communication skills, improve self-confidence and independence, enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, and improve concentration and attention skills. (NHSE, 2017)

Art, Drama and Music therapists are employed within our specialised mental health services and learning disability services.

Podiatrists provide essential assessment, evaluation and foot care for a wide range of patients with a variety of conditions both long term and acute. Many of these fall into high risk categories such as patients with diabetes, cerebral palsy, peripheral arterial disease and peripheral nerve damage where podiatric care is of vital importance.

 In SHFT we have a podiatry service that works in the community


Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals who assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level.

Uniquely, dietitians use the most up–to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. (NHSE, 2017)

Within SHFT we have dietitians that work within our specialist diabetes service and our community hospitals. 

Occupational therapists work with adults and children of all ages who suffer from a wide range of clinical conditions: most commonly those who have difficulties due to a mental health illness, physical or learning disabilities. They provide practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people’s independence and satisfaction in all aspects of their life. (Allied Health Solutions 2017)


Across SHFT we have OT’s that work in both the physical health community and inpatient; mental health and learning disabilities.

Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease. A physiotherapist helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them to remain independent for as long as possible. (Allied Health Solution 2017)

We have physiotherapists working across our SHFT, offering MSK opportunities, community including community hospitals, respiratory, learning disabilities and OPMH.

Diagnostic radiographers use a range of techniques to produce high quality images to diagnose an injury or disease. They are responsible for providing safe and accurate imaging examinations and increasingly also the resulting report. Diagnostic imaging is a component of the majority of care pathways.


SHFT have radiographers working within Lymington Hospital

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) in the UK work with children and adults to help them overcome or adapt to a vast array of disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing. (NHSE, 2017)

SLTs work within our learning disability services, stroke services and also OPMH.

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