Working for Connect has been the best career move I’ve made
I transferred over via TUPE from the incumbent MSK provider in May 2016, having worked with them for just two months. Prior to this I had worked in a large NHS trust for a number of years. I was apprehensive to say the least as I was aware of Connect and had heard rumours that they didn’t have a great reputation – e.g. the private guys are coming in to take over our NHS contract.
Initially it was extremely difficult. There was a lot of change to take on board in terms of the ways in which we worked and there didn’t seem to be a huge amount of support from the new manager. That said, the Head Office and senior clinical staff came in to talk to us and were very engaging and enthusiastic, which gave me hope that things might get better.
There was a lot of resistance to change in the team – not wanting to change the length of appointments, and not engaging with PhysioLine (our telephone assessment and advice service) as this was totally new.
However I stuck it out, along with most of the team, as I thought things would get better and slowly things took shape and my fears were allayed. I got a better understanding of the patient journey, with face to face assessments, the pain and rheumatology pathways, CATs, group exercise sessions and now using new premises like the gym and everything has become a lot better.
We are now offering more injection clinics, shock wave therapy and ultra sound guided injections which are all new skills for the team – so we have a much bigger skill mix. It is more satisfying for the clinicians knowing you can direct the patient towards the most appropriate treatment for them and I think the patients like it too. Access and waiting times have reduced and it is now a much more streamlined pathway for patients.