Building Bridges

Collaborating to Support AHP Placements in Alzheimer Scotland

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An inside-out approach to contemporary AHP Placements

From research we know that student placements have a huge impact on where students want to work and their understanding of who they want to work with. We also know that wherever our AHP workforce work, they will work with people living with dementia. We are in a great position to develop this opportunity from within Alzheimer Scotland.

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Within Scotland’s leading dementia organisation, there is an opportunity to work in a way that fits with evolving national and local dementia services to build meaningful relationships and systems that support sustainable AHP education and practice and connect to people who are living with dementia and those that support them.

For this reason we wanted to develop AHP student placements within Alzheimer Scotland with three aims

  1. Provide AHP students with undergraduate experience of working with people living with dementia, therefore contributing to the skills of the future AHP workforce
  2. Provide AHP students with first hand experience of working with and gain an understanding of Alzheimer Scotland as the leading organisation in dementia.
  3. Provide an opportunity for people who come to Alzheimer Scotland to work with a range of allied health professionals for mutual benefit

In this week’s blog we are sharing with you the first AHP students who worked with us 2014, we hope you enjoy it.

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Building Bridges: An Expanding AHP Placement Programme

Since making this film, we have expanded our AHP placements in Alzheimer Scotland and developed ten things we think you need to know:

  1. We are working with all four HEI’s in Scotland who educate our AHP students
  2. We are working with Glasgow and Clyde College who educate our AHP support workers
  3. We are developing links with St Johns University, York and Sheffield Hallam
  4. We will have offered 43 AHP students placements by the end of 2015
  5. We have offered AHP placements in occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, music therapy, art psychotherapy and physiotherapy
  6. We are developing AHP placements with dietitians
  7. We signed a Strategic Alliance with Queen Margaret University
  8. We have mentors and supervisors ranging from Alzheimer Scotland dementia advisors and Alzheimer Scotland AHP Consultant
  9. We are have developed 6 AHP Alzheimer Scotland AHP internships, 5 in occupational therapy and 1 in music therapy
  10. We are starting our first Alzheimer Scotland occupational therapy volunteer in the autumn

We are absolutely committed and passionate to work with our higher education institutions. We know the benefits of working with our new student population to people living with dementia, the benefits of student and interns to Alzheimer Scotland and the great projects and ideas the students and interns generate and implement when working with us.

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Thank you for watching the video and reading our blog

  • We would welcome your thoughts or ideas on our developing allied health professional student placements in Alzheimer Scotland?
  • What has been your experience of working with allied health professional students?


Adrienne McDermid-Thomas

Alzheimer Scotland AHP Practice Education Facilitator


My role is to build on a programme of work of developing AHP student practice placements, an AHP internship programme and AHP volunteer opportunities in Alzheimer Scotland supporting the aspiration that all allied health professional students are skilled in dementia care on graduation.  I have had some really positive experiences of joint AHP working in the past and am very much looking forward to this further opportunity to work together with AHP colleagues and Alzheimer Scotland to develop ways of working which are sustainable and best suited to meeting the needs of people living with dementia and their carers and families.

Elaine HunterElaine Hunter
Allied Health Professional Consultant, Alzheimer Scotland

My remit in Alzheimer Scotland is to bring the skills of AHPs to the forefront of dementia practice and to share with them the principles and practice of working in a major charity that is dedicated to “making sure nobody faces dementia alone”. I am leading the delivery of commitment 4 of Scotland’s Dementia Strategy. In short, a great job working with great people.




2 thoughts on “Building Bridges

  1. Thank u for sharing this interesting blog. Sounds like a win win for all involved ! Traditionally students I have been involved with on practice placements have been mostly occupational therapy students and some input with nursing students. This blog has raised a thought that I could explore practice placement opportunities within my role with other AHP students too eg. Music and Art Therapy students. Alz Scotland are opening more doors to enhance the learning opportunities for future AHP practioners by offering diverse placements. This is great news for students n Dementia care in Scotland!

  2. Hi Elaine and Adrienne

    Thank you for sharing this video and blog, I can heartily endorse what a terrific opportunity it was for me to undertake a placement this year with Alzheimer Scotland. As a newly qualified OT working in the voluntary sector, I am putting into practice already the skills I learnt and developed with Alzscot.

    You provide a wonderful opportunity for student AHPs to hone their craft, and follow the great examples set by the charity.

    Best wishes


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