The MS Trust, Parkinson’s UK and the Motor Neurone Disease Association are collaborating on a project to develop a Competency Framework for AHPs working with people with long-term, neurological conditions.

People with progressive neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease require access to a multidisciplinary team to meet their ongoing needs. This team includes allied health professionals (AHPs), such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dieticians.  It is important that these health professionals have the correct skills and knowledge about these conditions in order to provide effective support at key points in the patient care pathway.

The AHP Competency Framework project, which launched in November 2015, will initially focus on three conditions: motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and the following health care professionals: dietitians; occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists. The project will produce a resource for commissioners, managers, practitioners and ultimately for people living with long-term neurological conditions to deliver the best possible outcomes.

The project working group includes representatives from TiMS and other specialist therapists working with people with Parkinson's disease and motor neurone disease as well as the professional bodies and special interest groups.

The output of the project will be an accessible resource for use by practitioners and those who manage and commission services. This will be delivered in the second half of 2016.

The project objectives are:

  • To assist practitioners from Band 5 to 8 in career progression and development (training needs) and to help them to identify their next steps i.e. to know how to develop expertise in the treatment of long-term, neurological conditions.
  • Improved commissioner/manager understanding of how the most effective team can be constructed through judicious use of the appropriate staffing levels and their associated skills.
  • To reduce the erosion of team effectiveness caused by role change or post deletions occurring due to ignorance of the optimum combination of skills and competencies for a team.
  • To give Commissioners a tool to specify the service level that they require and understand which banding levels they need to achieve it.
  • To increase commissioner/manager knowledge about specialist AHP neurology roles, and an appreciation of their importance.
  • To give practitioners a resource to help them defend posts and or roles under threat.

If you would like to get involved please email delia.britter@mstrust.org.uk