Moving to a different country was a bit daunting at first but Connect Health has helped it to feel more like home

Abba Balarabe, Senior MSK Physiotherapist, tells us about the opportunities that are available to him and how the values of Connect Health are integrated into the company culture.

People Stories

Physiotherapy was still a fairly new profession in Nigeria when I was in school

When I was in school in Kano State, I dreamt of becoming a football player or a medical doctor. It was only when we had a careers guidance day that I started to become more interested in Physiotherapy. We had speakers who came into my school to talk to us about our futures and when I saw one speaker’s passion for Physiotherapy it inspired me to do some research into the profession.


Before starting my university career, I was sent to another area of the country to serve

It seemed to me that Physio was the perfect blend between becoming a footballer and becoming a doctor and I also saw it as an advantage for getting into football and becoming part of a team. I got the chance to understand what it felt like to be a team Physiotherapist when I was serving my country in the National Youth Service Corps. I was able to work with the table tennis and football teams to help players to manage their pain and helped me to gain confidence in Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy.


Coming to the United Kingdom exposed me to new learnings and techniques

After university in Nigeria, I studied an internship in a prominent teaching hospital completing my rotations. I then began to work as a Sports Clinician before looking to move to the UK. This seemed like the logical step in my Physiotherapy career as I saw the UK as being one of the best places to learn more and develop my skills.


After gaining my license to practice Physiotherapy, I applied to a number of UK healthcare companies

Connect Health was my top choice when it came to deciding where I wanted to work; their values, especially the one around quality, resonated with me and made them stand out from the crowd. After passing my interview, I applied for sponsorship to move to the UK. Connect Health were very supportive through the whole process and made sure I was connected to the right people in order to gain my visa.


Connect Health is all about working hard, enthusiasm and kindness

Even during my interview process, I noticed how friendly and cheerful everyone seemed to be and that experience has continued since I started as a Senior MSK Physiotherapist in May. My colleagues and the company are helping me to learn and grow as a clinician. At Connect, you are inspired to have confidence in yourself and your abilities, and you really see that the Senior Leadership Team do what they can to maintain company morale.


I was initially nervous about blending into the company and expected it to be a difficult process, but all of my colleagues were on hand to help me feel at home within the UK and Connect Health itself.


I now split my time between different teams in Connect Health

I work half of my time in an out of hours clinic in Southport and the other half working for the Herts Valleys service where I help patients to manage their conditions, both from a remote location and face-to-face. Having the opportunity to work in a hybrid capacity means that I have more time to keep myself fit and healthy as well, attending the gym and continuing to follow my passion for football by playing in a local team.


At Connect Health I was able to start learning straight away

In Nigeria, there was a queue for clinicians looking to complete any continued professional development (CPD) courses. The hospitals were the ones to decide who was able to go on the courses available, so it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that you were able to enrol on courses straight away at Connect Health. The courses you need to fill your dedicated CPD time are at your disposal! Colleagues are around to answer any questions I have as well. I can tell that they’re keen to help me to develop my skills and guide me in the right direction.


Helping patients is one of the best feelings

Within healthcare, you need to be able to get a job done and do it well and, at Connect Health in particular, you need to do it with the patient in mind. The whole company is centred around making patients feel as though they have been listened to and understood. I see a wide range of patients and conditions but with a common dilemma: that they are in pain and are desperate to start feeling better. It’s fantastic when you get feedback from those people that you have helped them.


The hardest part is getting up the courage to ask questions but my colleagues are only a click away and very helpful.


I would like to keep taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to me

During my time at Connect, I’ve been able to shadow clinicians and learn first-hand many clinical skills which I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do before moving to the UK. I have also signed up to a mentorship programme within Connect Health which I will be starting in September to learn from Andrew Cuff, Head of Clinical Delivery, and gain guidance on how he was able to work his way up through the company, something I have always admired and even encouraged me to apply for Connect Health in the first place. I am looking forward to achieving great things with Connect.



If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact

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