From a young age I knew I wanted to be a physiotherapist
I didn’t know anyone who was a physio and this interested me as I wanted to do something different. I was always very sporty and played a lot of cricket. I became captain for the men’s team at the age of 16 and later went on to play in the Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket League Division One.
I then spent a year travelling and working in Australia, before doing my rotation at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. It was there that I realised that I really wanted to work in MSK and didn’t want to wait for that rotation to come around, as I heard it could take up to 2 years.
I joined Connect Health in 2017
I went through the Advanced Development Programme (ADP) which really accelerated my professional development and meant I was fully confident with red flag assessment and clinical reasoning. There isn’t the same kind of development in place in the NHS for new graduates, and it put me in a good position to apply for a more senior post. I moved into a pain management role in July 2019 and became an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist in 2020 – 3 years after I started the ADP at Connect.
At Connect Health, there are many different career paths that you can take
There’s a big focus on staff development, and because Connect Health is a growing company, there are opportunities you wouldn’t get as quickly or as readily if you were in the NHS. Things are always moving forward. In the past, I’d never really considered progressing outside of a solely clinical career but when I heard about the Team Lead vacancy, I saw it as a chance to try something new. In my Team Lead role, I’m able to help my colleagues to develop alongside continuing my work as an Advance Practice Physiotherapist.
I really enjoy the variety that a managerial role brings to my job. My Team Lead role is a perfect mix with my existing APP role where I have extra clinical responsibility and offer clinical leadership to my colleagues from a pain perspective.
I like to see graduates on the ADP at the beginning of their journey with Connect, as I have gained so much myself going through that same development pathway
I’m now able to give back to the Graduate Development Programme that I was a part of 6 years ago. I feel like I’ve come full circle and I can provide them with guidance, support and a path for them to follow, all stemming from my own experiences.
I feel like I’ve always had a connection with Flippin’ Pain
I am thrilled to have recently been named a Community Pain Champion for the Flippin’ Pain public health campaign along with other pain specialists, researchers and people who live with pain too. We have been completing a 6-month development programme centred around public speaking and will soon be putting our training into practice, presenting our talks to the public to assist with spreading the campaign’s message “to change the way we think about, talk about and treat persistent pain”.
In my career, I’ve seen patients who live with pain and have treated it solely from a biomedical model by taking medication rather than approaching their pain in a holistic manner. My own YouTube channel reflects the goal of educating the public, just like Flippin’ Pain.
It’s fantastic to be in a room with like-minded individuals who are really passionate about the subject of pain and spreading the message of Flippin’ Pain to a wider audience.
I work closely with other members of the MDT and get to introduce them to working in pain management
In Wolverhampton, we have a team covering many specialties and I am able to train my colleagues who are interested in moving from another clinical role into a pain role. It is important we have this multi-disciplinary team as pain management is complex. Without the MDT, we wouldn’t be able to support each other in providing the best possible treatment for our patients.
It also means that there are many different clinical pathways for colleagues who are interested in something new, like pain management!
I’ve come to a point in my career where I’m happy to take some time to appreciate what I’ve achieved so far
Throughout my whole career I’ve felt like I’ve always been looking for the next opportunity but, at the moment, with my role evolving in a leadership direction and my involvement in the Flippin’ Pain Campaign, I feel content enough to pause and take stock of all I have achieved during my time at Connect Health.
Looking to the future, I can see many different career progression paths within Connect Health. I can choose to help other clinicians progress by becoming more involved in Learning and Development, I could go down the clinical leadership route, or do something completely different like Service Transition! The opportunities are endless.
I’d encourage anyone interested in working at an innovative organisation that values its MDT workforce to join Connect Health.
It’s absolutely committed to giving the best patient care using evidence-based practice, and it’s such a good place to work.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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