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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

In 2016 a survey completed by families using AHP (Allied Health Professionals) in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) highlighted gaps in communication throughout the AHP journey. As a result AHP’s have worked with families to improve communication when accessing AHP services. During COVID this work was accelerated and the following objectives have been achieved:

1.     NHSCT website development with pre-referral information for families about their child’s development and the need for an AHP referral

2.     Development of a communication toolkit which is used during all contacts

3.     Development of AHP resources and information which share similar language and content for families accessing

The aim of this phase of the project would be to Progress and develop online NHSCT resources for families accessing AHP services in the NHSCT to support their ongoing needs effectively whilst minimising face to face contact

What does your project aim to achieve?


1.       Engage with families accessing AHP services in the NHSCT to establish what online resources should be developed by AHP services to support their AHP journey from pre-referral to discharge and beyond.

2.       Engage with AHP staff groups to establish what online resources would support their contact with children and families.

3.       Support AHP services to develop the resources identified by families from pre-referral to discharge and beyond

4.       Collate data on child/ family experience and activity and the impact of the development of online resources

How will the project be delivered?

This project group has been established for 4 years working with families to develop communication tools and processes to support their AHP journey. AHP staff resource have been needed over the 4 years to support different working streams effectively and can be drawn upon when required, however a dedicated resource to support this phase through COVID-19 could further transform and consolidate service transformation across professional groups.

There is existing baseline data from families and their views on AHP services and we have co-produced resources with families who sit on our project team, and we can continue to utilise this resource and develop this. We have the start of online resource development across the teams but require support to continue to develop this in a timely fashion to meet the needs of families during COVID-19 without delay. This resource would support the AHP journey remotely and reduce need for face to face contacts.

How is your project going to share learning?

As a project group we have links with relevant contacts regionally in e-health and at the Public Health Authority who are using the NHSCT project and online development of resources as a model with a plan to utilise the gains from the project regionally and support the AHP journey for children and families across Northern Ireland. The learning from 2016 to this period and onwards can support communication processes, clinical communication and online communication across all services.

How you can contribute

  • Review of application to strengthen it
  • Advice/ guidance for those who have completed this type of project before

Plan timeline

4 Jan 2021 Project team is formed
1 Feb 2021 Project Team meet to agree content
15 Feb 2021 Content reviewed by Project team
1 Mar 2021 Changes made to draft content
5 Apr 2021 Draft content turned into online resource
17 May 2021 Online resource tested by group
7 Jun 2021 Online resources trialled
6 Sep 2021 Online resource goes live


  1. Have you let the 169 people in the AHPs SIG know about this?
    Might be worth posting something there...

  2. There's a few Q Exchange ideas proposed that connect to supporting parents within the community through online/digital resources - it might be worth having a look at these to see if there are any possible areas for support or collaboration. In particular have a look at Collaborating for Children with Medical Complexity. Best wishes, Emma

  3. Great co produced work in NHSCT . Involving parents and families from the outset .

  4. A great project which really has an opportunity to grow now in the post-Covid era.  Interactive, on-line engagement with families has been very success during the COVID response - would be great to build on this

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