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Adding direction and opportunity to physiotherapy career pathways at Connect Health

02 October 2018

Steve Nawoor, Consultant Physiotherapist at Connect Health discusses the detailed work undertaken to enhance career structures and develop the profession

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Since joining Connect Health in January 2018, one of the key projects to undertake and implement has been the introduction of our Developing Consultant Programme (DCP) and a team of Subject Matter Experts (SME) to enhance career pathways and offer depth to the clinical structures, whilst improving service delivery.

The career structure within physiotherapy in general, can sometimes lack direction and this project has allowed us to scrutinise opportunity, development and experience maps that help and support people to navigate opportunities both clinically and operationally.

At present we offer everything from a Graduate Development Programme (GDP) to an Advanced Development Programme (ADP) that sit alongside the more traditional roles of Physiotherapist, Senior Physiotherapist, Advanced Practice Physiotherapist and Consultant Physiotherapist.

Developing Consultant Programme (DCP)

The DCP will allow us to develop advanced clinical judgement, leadership, research and strategic direction whilst bringing innovation to the forefront of healthcare. As part of the programme the delegates are allocated 2-days per week to the DCP, with the remaining 3 days continuing to work clinically as an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist and Clinical Lead.

The DCP delegates play a pivotal role in supporting the Medical Director, Consultant Physiotherapists, Operations, Subject Matter Experts and Research Lead within the organisation. They work strategically across a range of models of service delivery to gain experience, confidence and competence in influencing policy, decision making, delivering at the highest standard and becoming a respected clinical leader within the profession.

The Developing Consultant Programme has been called R.E.A.C.H and will be structured around 5 core pillars:

1. Research & Development
2. Education & Learning
3. Advancements & Innovation
4. Clinical Excellence & Leadership
5. Healthcare and Service Design

Our first cohort was advertised internally and following a series of interviews earlier this year we now have a team of four internal candidates that will help shape the programme for the future, where we will look to expand our offering to external applicants.


Subject Matter Experts (SME)

The SME project has run alongside the introduction of the DCP and has followed a similar internal process that has allowed us to draw on the current expertise within Connect. Expressions of interest were gathered and interviews conducted for SME’s within the following areas:

  • Rheumatology
  • Pain Management
  • Public Health
  • Upper Limb
  • Lower Limb
  • Medicines Management & Injections
  • Ultrasonography
  • Exercise, Rehabilitation and Activity
  • Advanced Practice Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Health

The SME’s have been allocated up to one day per month to allow them to work on projects, pathways and provide guidance to the Senior Management Teams, whilst working closely with the Consultant Physiotherapist’s, Operations, DCPs, Research Lead and other members of the SME team.

The roles also provide valuable input into the day to day running of Connect and offer support and guidance at a number of levels to all individuals both clinically and operationally. The introduction and development of the Developing Consultant Programme and Subject Matters Experts looks to provide, safer, effective and up to date knowledge that can be transferred into our career pathway, with an ever-evolving approach to improving services for our patients, the tax payer and our communities.

Think Tank Event – October 12th

The culmination of the DCP and SME’s has led us to a point where we are now able to bring together a meeting of minds that will help formulate the next steps for both roles within Connect.

Our Think Tank event will take place on Friday October 12th in Birmingham and will bring together our Developing Consultants and Subject Matter Experts alongside the Senior Clinical and Operational teams.

The Think Tank will be about working through the wider strategy to maximise the impact of introducing a team of this size to Connect that will look to add value, opportunity and development across a number of areas.

Keep an eye out for the hashtag #ThinkTank on October 12th for updates on Twitter.

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

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