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AHP Advanced Practice Collective Webinar – The Power Play in Healthcare: Who Really Holds the Scalpel?

AHP Advanced Practice Collective Webinar - The Power Play in Healthcare: Who Really Holds the Scalpel?


22 February 2024    
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Event Type

Navigating the Complex Terrain of Evolving Professional Boundaries.

Join us on 22 February for our seminar “The Power Play in Healthcare: Who Really Holds the Scalpel?”; a thought-provoking, challenging, call to action for the health professions, policymakers, employers, service users and funders to secure sustainable, efficient and equitable access to safe and effective health services.

This webinar addresses the evolving roles of health professionals and the associated resistance from the medical community. This phenomenon is not new; it has been a recurring theme since the establishment of medical dominance over the structured division of healthcare labour.

Discussions about expanding the scope of professional practice in healthcare often devolve into contentious debates dominated by narrow, profession-centric viewpoints, ultimately impacting service users adversely.

However, it’s crucial to recognise that challenges, innovation, and opportunities coexist in this discourse, benefiting both the community and healthcare professions. Given the pressing workforce shortages and the escalating need for proficient healthcare services globally, it is imperative for the health sector to evolve promptly to meet the immediate and future needs of society. We must move beyond traditional professional paradigms to steer today’s conversations effectively.


Prompted by recent discussions on the overlapping role boundaries of orthopaedic and podiatric surgeons featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and 60 Minutes, this event transcends a single profession. It presents an opportunity to delve into the broader implications for healthcare practices globally. This is particularly pertinent when professional scopes are under scrutiny and revision and there is a significant demand for enhanced delivery of health care services.

Our expert panel of presenters, Professor Susan Nancarrow, Professor Alan Borthwick OBE and Dr Anne-Louise Carlton will lead an informative discussion exploring scope of practice at the legislative, professional and service levels, examining international and interdisciplinary variations in responses changing role boundaries.

The two-hour seminar will navigate the history and development of professional role boundaries in healthcare, reflect on and challenge assumptions about the nature of “health work” and the rightful owners of particular tasks and titles, and debate the pros and cons of regulating scopes of practice, and the other mechanisms which exist for safeguarding the community as scopes of practice inevitably change.

We want you to receive a balanced perspective, recognising the contributions of different healthcare professionals within a changing health and medical landscape.

The panel of experts bring sociological, health service research, practitioner and policy perspectives to the conversation that aims to:

This webinar incorporates one hour of presentations and one hour Q&A and facilitated discussion. Attendees are invited to submit comments and questions before close of business 17 February 2024 (AEST), to enable the presenters to theme and respond to topics of most interest to the audience. Questions will also be taken during the session.

Reserve your seat today! Spaces are limited for this enlightening and professionally enriching experience. Register now to be part of this important conversation about the future.

Mark your calendar and join us for a seminar that promises to be not only informative but also a catalyst for change.


Meet our Key Speakers:

Dr Susan Nancarrow
Professor Susan Nancarrow, CEO HealthWork International & The Allied Health Academy

Susan is an allied health professional with more twenty-five years international health services research, expertise and analysis, with a particular interest in the health workforce, models of health service organisation and delivery, and the sociology of the professions. Her particular area of interest and expertise is health workforce flexibility and interdisciplinarity. She and Alan Borthwick recently published a historic and sociological analysis of the allied health workforce “The Allied Health Professions: A Sociological Perspective” Policy Press 2021.

Dr Alan Borthwick OBE

Professor Alan Borthwick, OBE

Alan is an allied health professional and sociologist, and in 2016 was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Alan’s research has largely focused on the contemporary and historical sociology of the allied health professions in the UK and Australia. Alan coauthored “The Allied Health Professions: A Sociological Perspective” Policy Press 2021, with Susan.

Alan was Chairman of the Medicines and Medical Devices Committee of the Royal College of Podiatry (2008-2021) and was the representative of the Allied Health Professions Federation on the Department of Health Allied Health Professions Medicines and Prescribing Project Board (2010-2013) leading to the granting of independent prescribing for physiotherapists and podiatrists in August 2013 (and the 2008-9 AHP Medicines Scoping Project).

Alan is also an Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, Adjunct Professor in the School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health, Southern Cross University.

Dr Anne-Louise Carlton

Dr Anne-Louise Carlton

Anne-Louise is Senior Policy Advisor at HealthWork International, a visiting fellow at RMIT University, Western Sydney University and Southern Cross University.

Anne-Louise was involved in the development of the regulatory framework governing specialty practice in Australia under AHPRA and the National Boards, including for the specialty of podiatric surgery.

She is an experienced regulatory policy practitioner who: was instrumental in the design and implementation of Australia’s National Registration and Accreditation Scheme under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law; has undertaken country reviews of health workforce regulation for World Health Organization (WHO) and other international development agencies; and most recently, completed a review of the global literature to inform the development of the first WHO Global Guidance on health practitioner regulation, to be launched in early 2024. She has an in depth understanding of the layers of quality assurance that shape practitioner scopes of practice (registration, credentialing, clinical governance, facilities licensing, etc.), and the necessary linkages between them.