No Life Half Lived

Scottish Stroke AHP Forum


How did the Scottish Stroke AHP Forum begin?

Stroke therapists working in remote areas in Scotland had voiced a need for greater networking, support and sharing of knowledge in stroke rehabilitation. After consultation with Allied Health Professional (AHP) stroke consultants in Scotland, the Scottish Stroke Nurses Forum (SSNF) and Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS), a letter was sent to all health boards in Scotland asking for them to nominate a stroke AHP to attend an initial meeting, along with representatives from universities, research units and charities.


What happened next?

The initial meeting took place in October 2011. All mainland health boards were represented, plus most AHP professions, universities and charities.

Aims and objectives were agreed, the name chosen, a Constitution written, office bearers elected, a bank account opened, assured representation from all areas and professions, produced a website, membership database and logo and officially launched the forum in June 2012. Start-up funding was received from the National Advisory Committee for Stroke and CHSS kindly produced, and now host, the website and database.


What are the aims and objectives?

The main aim of the Scottish Stroke AHP Forum is to promote the ‘highest quality of rehabilitation for people with stroke’.

The objectives are:

  • To promote awareness of the essential role of AHPs in stroke
  • To share and develop knowledge and expertise in stroke
  • To promote education, training and best practice for AHPs working in stroke
  • To promote, facilitate and disseminate stroke research, and to encourage implementation of research findings
  • To influence decision making on local/national policies and guidelines
  • To facilitate networking, support and mentorship


Who is it open to?

Membership is open to AHPs and AHP Support Workers, with an interest in stroke, and AHP students (final year undergraduates and postgraduates) working or studying in Scotland. Membership is free and can be accessed online.


What has happened since?

  • Over 400 members, evenly spread across the professions and across Scotland
  • Annual conferences
  • 6-monthly newsletters
  • Discussion board on LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Driver and reviewer for the SCoT Toolkit AHP specialising competencies
  • Reviewer for STARs modules
  • Representation on the National Advisory Committee for Stroke
  • Representation on the Cross Party Group for Heart Disease and Stroke and on the subgroup looking at Life after Stroke
  • Contributed to the development of the Charter for people living with stroke in Scotland
  • Reviewer for Best Practice Statement on Vision
  • Produced a concensus statement on the use of electrical stimulation in stroke
  • Active role in surveys and audits and participants in stroke research
  • Driver and reviewer for Selfhelp4stroke (launched at 2015 Conference)
  • Part of the investigation looking to improve understanding around the post-stroke care of people in Scotland
  • Helped produce the stroke education pathway for the stroke audit
  • Affiliated to Non-malignant Palliative Care in Scotland for Respiratory, Cardiac and Stroke Group
  • Affiliated to the Scottish Stroke Vision and Hearing Network
  • Affiliated to the UKSF and a member of both the steering group and the scientific group
  • Produced 2 guides for Driving After Stroke – a guide for healthcare professionals and a guide for OTs
  • Set up Practice Development Awards with money awarded from the Stroke Improvement Programme
  • Stakeholder in the development of the Childhood Stroke Guideline


Where next?

This group sits alongside similar networks such as the SSNF and the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP) and as such has an important role to play in the delivery of stroke rehabilitation services in Scotland. It will continue to have an advisory role and will generate, promote and report research in clinical stroke rehabilitation. In these financially challenged times, it is important to deliver clinical rehabilitation in as effective, yet efficient, a fashion possible and the SSAHPF will support these aspirations going forward. The forum will continue to engage across health and social care sectors, within health, with stroke survivors and with the third sector, as well as the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament, so as to navigate stroke pathways in Scotland through the evolving integration process, keeping patients at the centre of all we do.

Partners and Support

The SSAHPF is supported by Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Get in touch

2nd Floor, Hobart House
80 Hanover Street

0131 225 6963