A new £3 million fund has been announced to enable active and independent living for people who are recovering from illness or injury.
The fund will aim to find new and innovative ways to help people with illness, disability or injury to lead healthy lives and stay in their own homes.
The programme will be delivered by Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), including non-medical NHS staff such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists and podiatrists.
According to a government source, such individuals “play a crucial role in the NHS by using advice, interventions, equipment and adaptations to help people live safely and healthily in their own homes for as long as possible.”
Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, made the announcement to the Scottish Parliament during a debate about Allied Health Professionals today.
As part of the new fund, three AHP improvement advisers will be appointed to ensure that examples of best practice are adopted throughout Scotland.
Allied Health Professionals are making a difference across Scotland’s NHS. NHS Lanarkshire’s Hospital at Home team, which includes AHPs, doctors and nurses, is finding ways to treat more patients in their own homes, rather than hospital, when it is safe to do so.
Allied Health Professionals are also helping to treat more than 400,000 patients for musculoskeletal problems in community settings every year.
Ms Watt said: “All too often Allied Health Professionals are the unsung heroes of our National Health Service. Not only do the vast majority of people want to stay in their own homes for longer, it’s also better for recovery and mental wellbeing.
“Allied Health Professionals use their skills to make this possible for thousands of people.