13 October 2023

Saturday 14 October is National Allied Health Professions (AHPs) Day. It’s a chance for us to take a moment to celebrate our wonderful AHP colleagues and thank them for everything they do.

As the third largest healthcare group at the Trust, our AHP colleagues are involved in so many vital aspects of care. There are many AHP roles including dietitians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, osteopaths, paramedics, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists, diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers, chiropodists and podiatrists.

Read more about our fantastic AHP colleagues….


Danni, Diagnostic Radiographer

Danni has always had an interest in being a part of the healthcare industry, especially coming from a family who are mostly AHPs. After attaining her A levels, she took a year out and got a job as an imaging assistant in the x-ray department at SaTH where she worked for a year. During this time she got a great insight into radiology. She applied to study Radiography at Cardiff the following year.

She said: “The great thing about radiography is there is a huge scope of practice. I started as a general radiographer which I really enjoyed and after two years I decided to specialise in cross sectional scanning such as CT and MRI. There are so many different things to get involved in with the rapid changes in technology and tools we can access in this day and age, and this is why I think Radiography is so great to work in!”


Ellie Davies – Apprentice ODP

Ellie Davies first joined the Trust when she was 16, as an apprentice business administrator for the warfarin department at RSH. Ellie quickly realised that she really enjoyed the patient contact side of her job and that she wanted a more hands-on role.

She completed her apprenticeship and decided to go back to college to gain a Level 3 BTEC in Health and Social Care, with a view to becoming a midwife.

Whilst studying, she was introduced to the Operating Department Practitioners (ODP) role.

Ellie said: “I watched a demonstration of the ODP role, and the insight fascinated me. I successfully applied for a job within theatres and started as an HCA in January 2022.”

Ellie worked part-time as an HCA while completing her BTEC qualification. When the apprentice ODP role was advertised, Ellie’s colleagues advised her to apply and she was offered the apprentice role.


Kate – Registered Dietitian

Unhappy in her marketing job, and inspired by an interest in nutrition, Kate pursued a new career in dietetics.

Kate successfully applied to Coventry University where she completed placements at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust and SaTH.

Kate’s final placement was at SaTH, where she was able to return to the college she had attended, to deliver some training on nutrition and hydration to Healthcare Assistants – for Kate it felt like a real full circle moment.

Kate said: “I was honoured to have been presented with a Golden Ticket on the final day of placement and joined the team at SaTH in September as a Band 5 Acute Dietitian. I feel very proud to have embarked on this learning adventure, and now hope to continue to expand my knowledge on the job, working with a great team of dietitians and other therapy specialists supporting patients in the hospital.”


Debbie Weaver – Assistant Practitioner in Breast Imaging

Debbie started in the NHS as a Medical Laboratory Assistant in Cytology in 2006. She spoke to members of the breast imaging team about their roles, but owing to her age and personal circumstances she could not envisage doing a 3-year radiography degree. However, one member of the team mentioned a new role that could mean training on the job within the team.

In October 2012 Debbie started her new role and the university course at Birmingham City. She said: “My course at the time was for one-year. I attended university one day a week and the rest of my time was on the job learning.”

She completed the course in September 2013 and proudly gained a Higher Education (CertHE) with commendation and completed her Level 5 in mammography in July 2014.

She said: “I love my job because I am helping ladies when they are very vulnerable, putting their trust in me to perform their mammogram to the highest of standards, in a caring and professional manner.”


Nikki Goodwin – Apprentice Physiotherapist

Nikki started working for the trust in February 2020, just as the COVID pandemic hit. Although it was a strange time, Nikki felt she learnt a lot during this period. When the opportunity to apply for the apprenticeship came up in June 2021, she jumped at the chance, as becoming a physiotherapist is something she had always wanted to do following her degree in sports therapy.

Nikki is now just starting the third year of her apprenticeship. Nikki said: ”Whilst it has been a tough journey at times, it is 100% worth it as the on-the-job learning has been a massive plus point and I feel like I am growing as a clinician every day. The course is four years, which seems a long time, but I’m nearing the end of that now and a step closer to getting my physiotherapy degree”.


Philippa Downes – Senior Orthoptist

Philippa always enjoyed science at school and knew that she wanted to pursue a career within this subject. She found Orthoptics by chance after a day with an optician on work experience.

Philippa thought it sounded fascinating and something she could see herself doing. There were only two universities in the country (now three) who did an Orthoptics degree, so Philippa attended both open days.

Since then, she has continued to develop her skills and now holds speciality roles within literacy difficulties and glaucoma. She is also lead clinical tutor for orthoptics in Ophthalmology.

She said: “I love my job because it’s wonderful seeing the difference treatment can make to the quality of people’s lives. This can be from identifying when a child needs a glasses test or patching treatment for lazy vision, helping diagnose an ocular muscle problem and helping treat double vision. Our work is very varied, and no two days are the same.”


Carrie Horton – Apprentice Therapeutic Radiographer

Following a look around her local Radiotherapy department, Carrie applied to be a Radiotherapy Care Assistant whilst doing a part-time Access to Health course at a local college. Following the course completion, started as an Apprentice Therapeutic Radiographer.

Carrie said: “The split is approximately 20% online learning and 80% in the department. This works well for me as I learn so much when in the department and it gives me the time to put learning into practice. It also works for my personal life as I live near the hospital, I can sort childcare around working hours and I am paid a wage whilst learning.

“I feel very supported by my colleagues who are keen to teach me and help me get involved in patient’s treatment. My workplace mentor has been amazing at coaching me, helping me set targets and holding workshops to enhance my understanding; she is by far my biggest cheerleader.”