Allied health professionals (AHP)

Allied health professionals (AHPs) work with people to help them protect and improve their health and well-being. They work with people at different ages. There are thirteen professions recognised as allied health professions in Northern Ireland.

What allied health professionals do

Allied health professionals (AHPs) help people:

  • improve movement or mobility
  • overcome visual problems
  • improve nutritional status
  • develop communication skills
  • restore confidence in everyday living skills
  • access specialist housing equipment and assistive technologies

They work with government and non government agencies, charities and in many different areas including hospitals, people’s homes, clinics, surgeries, schools, and early years services.


Physiotherapists are experts in body movement. They work to restore movement, mobility and activity, and to prevent illness and injury so that people can be independent and continue to work.

Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists treat and rehabilitate people with physical and mental health conditions. They use specially selected activities to help people who are temporarily or permanently disabled to be as independent as possible.

Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists provide services to help children and adults who have problems communicating.

They can help you:

  • make speech sounds
  • understand spoken language
  • use language and sounds appropriately

They work with people who have stammers. Therapists also treat people with difficulty feeding, chewing and swallowing.


Dietitians make sure that people with certain conditions are getting the right nutrition from their food. Diet is important in treating:

Dietitians educate patients about the best food choices to manage their condition and get enough nutrition.

Art therapists

Art therapists use art materials to encourage people’s self-expression and reflection. 


A prosthetist provides care to people who need an artificial limb or another device to support them in their daily tasks. They can help your recovery if you have difficulty with physical movement.


An orthotist works with doctors to make and fit braces and splints for patients. They custom fit braces for patients with spine or limb injuries and people born with or who develop deformities to the feet, limbs or spine.

Music therapists

Music therapists use music creatively to help people address social, emotional or physical problems. They work with children and adults of all ages and social backgrounds in various settings to help them understand inner conflicts through music.


Orthoptists are specialists in diagnosing, managing and treating conditions to do with eye movement, coordination and vision.

These conditions include:



A podiatrist (also known as a chiropodist) is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems including:



There are diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.


A diagnostic radiographer uses x-ray machines, ultrasound machines and other imaging technology to examine patients. They are responsible for acquiring the image and may interpret the images to diagnose illnesses and injuries.

They can contribute towards establishing treatment plans and may also be involved in intervention procedures, for example, the removal of kidney stones.


A therapeutic radiographer treats cancer. They work with clinical oncologists, medical physicists and engineers and are responsible for the planning and delivery of accurate radiotherapy treatments using technical equipment.

The accuracy of these is critical to treat the tumour and destroy the diseased tissue while minimising the amount of exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.


Paramedics are health professionals who use their clinical expertise to assess and treat patients, supply and administer medicines, manage, discharge and refer patients in a range of emergency or out of hospital settings.

They work in a range of health and care settings and may specialise in clinical practice, as well as in education, leadership and research.


Dramatherapists offer a safe environment for an individual or group to explore, address and deal with personal and social problems such as:

They use various methods including:

  • stories
  • puppetry
  • improvisation
  • drama and movement

to help you explore past experiences and self-express in a way that might be easier than directly talking. Movement and objects can be also moved expressively without words.

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.