Allied Health in non-traditional roles: shaping health care in all sorts of ways

Ms Bethany Hooke1

1Children’s Health Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Children’s Health Queensland is a statewide quaternary health service, employing about 800 Allied Health Professionals across inpatient, outpatient, community and outreach services. This workforce delivers exceptional care to Queensland’s children and young people, but not all Allied Health Professionals at CHQ are engaged in traditional roles.

An informal overview of the CHQ workforce revealed that there are Allied Health Professionals adding value broadly across the health service. This includes roles often associated with professional progression such as clinical leadership, program management and project roles, generally employed within the Health Practitioners stream.

However, there are also Allied Health Professionals in areas as diverse as strategy and planning, patient safety and quality, and health information management. In many cases the staff member’s clinical background is not immediately visible but there is undeniable value in their training and clinical experience.

The purpose of this work is to understand:

  1. Where there are staff who trained as Allied Health Professionals but who now work in non-traditional roles;
  2. How clinical skills, knowledge and attributes transfer to non-traditional roles and add value to CHQ and the children and families who access our services;
  3. The enablers of a successful shift in professional direction.

Initiatives for Allied Health Professionals have often focused on expanding scope of practice. Perhaps there is also opportunity to focus on supporting Allied Health Professionals to leverage off and expand their skill set to move into previously unexplored roles and continue to value add to the health system.



Bethany trained as a Speech Pathologist in the 1990s and has worked in paediatric public health services for more than 20years as a clinician, team leader, project officer and program manager across metropolitan and regional settings. Since the beginning of 2016 she has been working to get Children’s Health Queensland NDIS ready, and to support children with a disability and their families access and engage with a dynamic and evolving disability sector. Bethany has a particular interest in how our systems link to improve the health and life outcomes of all children.

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