As part of the NHS response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made changes to the services we provide
Rachel McKeown is the lead for all Allied Health Professionals at MPFT who include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, podiatrists, art therapists, drama therapists and radiographers.
MPFT recognises the essential contribution AHPs make to our Trust and by supporting Rachel’s strategic AHP leadership role, ensures AHPs are deployed effectively to maximise their talents, skills and expertise. Promoting MPFT’s AHP practice at a regional and national level has been an essential part of her role and as a result Rachel has been asked to take on wider responsibilities. She is now providing Midlands regional AHP leadership to support the AHP National team’s response to Covid-19, alongside her MPFT Director of AHPs role. Her role as Chief AHP for the Midlands Region has been instrumental in ensuring AHPs were in place for the opening of the NHS Birmingham Nightingale Hospital.
The Birmingham Nightingale Hospital, which opened on 10 April, will have a focus on the rehabilitation of patients who have had severe Covid-19 symptoms. Allied Health Professionals will be an integral part of this process. For example, dietitians will be providing advice on nutrition, and speech and language therapists offering expertise around swallowing for patients who are or have been on a ventilator; physiotherapy is essential for respiratory rehabilitation and rebuilding muscle strength after illness; and occupational therapists support people getting back to normal life as quickly as possible.
Rachel says “I am very happy to be able to support my AHP colleagues in playing their part in the response to Covid-19. They are a brilliant group of staff who make a massive contribution to the health and wellbeing of patients and they have an important part to play in the effectiveness of the Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham. I am keen to help ensure the multi-disciplinary teams have the right skill mix and that all the necessary facilities are in place for the full range of therapies, and working with colleagues to deliver the response to this unprecedented situation. I am grateful to my MPFT executive colleagues for supporting me to commit time and energy to this wider role”.
Neil Carr, Chief Executive MPT added “We know the vital role our AHP colleagues play and are grateful to Rachel for the work she does within our organisation and beyond to ensure they are recognised and supported to perform their roles, especially at this difficult time.”