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Published: 17 May 2023

Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for England, Suzanne Rastrick OBE, has been appointed Visiting Professor in the Centre for Allied Health, Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education at St George’s, University of London.

This appointment follows Suzanne’s honorary award of Doctor of Medicine which she received from St George’s in 2019, in recognition of her exceptional impact and leadership in healthcare.

Supporting education and development

As Visiting Professor, Suzanne will build on her established links with St George’s to support the education and professional development of pre- and post-registration allied health professions (AHP), offer a high-level of subject matter expertise to ensure curriculums for students remain in alignment with NHS priorities and to drive research into strengthening leadership roles.

“I am very honoured to be awarded the Visiting Professor role at St George’s, University of London. It will be a privilege to contribute to the leadership capability and professional skills of multi-professional teams to the people and communities we serve.”

- Suzanne Rastrick OBE, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (England) -

Suzanne qualified as an occupational therapist, which led to a career in NHS leadership. She was the first AHP to hold Director of Nursing posts and then gained further leadership responsibility as Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust in Dorset.

Now, as Chief AHP Officer for England and the principal advisor to the Westminster government on allied health professions policy, Suzanne leads a workforce of 200,750 registered AHPs alongside support workers, apprentices and students from fourteen professions. These include occupational therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists, diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers, dieticians and speech and language therapists working predominantly in the NHS, but also in social care, education, criminal justice, the independent and third sector.

Suzanne spearheaded the first ‘AHPs into Action Strategy’ and established an annual AHP Day and the Chief AHP Officer Awards to recognise and celebrate the importance of these professions. She also represented AHPs in her roles with Health Education England and the Department of Health and Social Care at government level throughout the Covid-19 pandemic response.

Inspiring students to become future NHS leaders

“We’re delighted to welcome Suzanne to the St George’s community. Her dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking approach, alongside her high profile as an NHS leader, will inspire our students to maximise their university opportunities and help to see themselves as a future leader within the health service.”

- Professor Jenny Higham, Vice-Chancellor at St George’s, University of London -

In addition to Suzanne’s honorary Doctorate from St George’s, she was awarded an OBE for services to AHPs in the 2019 Queen’s birthday honours list, a Fellowship of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and a Doctor of Science from University of the West of England.

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