Helen reflects on her first month at Connect
“I’m happy to say it’s going really, really well. After graduating 18 months ago, I joined the hospital based physio team at Wolverhampton. It was a very busy role, sometimes having to work over to keep on top of things.
When I first heard that the contract was going to Connect Health, I was aware of the company and there were a few rumours about a lack of focus on patient care and more on profits. I knew they were a big company and I think it was quite a big shock for the Trust. It was a voluntary move on my part to join Connect. MSK is an area I find really rewarding, but my apprehension was around losing the NHS identity and specialising in MSK after only 18 months, as I wondered if I had enough experience from rotations to build into my every day reasoning.
It wasn’t long before my worries were allayed. Speaking with other members of the team, they were all talking really positively about Connect. There is lots of support, appointment times are about the same, the package is better and I have more time to spend with family.
Little things really help – admin is superb
The admin support is fantastic, which means we have more time to spend with patients. Previously I’d have to do all my own letters. Firstly having to wait for a computer to come free – there were 4 computers between 10+ people. Then I’d write the letter, print it off, put it in the envelope and into the out-tray. Easily taking between 5-10 minutes each and doing around 3-4 letters, I could be spending half an hour a day on letters. Now I work from a template which populates itself with the patient information which is so quick. The computer does most of it for you – I just have to add the clinical bit, then the admin team print and post.
The computer system is also so much quicker than using paper notes, so again I’m able to spend more time doing hands-on treatment and assessment. Previously the computer was only used for physio tools like exercise prescription software. Now everyone has their own computer, and we have pre-printed exercise sheets. I do recognise that some people are more comfortable filling in forms manually but I love the fact that I can type quicker than I can write and duplication is wiped out.