How support from Connect is allowing me to develop my role and further my career in Women’s Health

Kavita Chokshi, Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Brent Physiotherapy Service shares her experience of joining Connect from TUPE NHS.

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Kavita Chokshi, Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Brent Physiotherapy Service shares her experience of joining Connect from TUPE NHS.

Connect is open and welcoming to my ideas, which is really positive for me. I think this could be the right place to grow my physio skills and knowledge, and at the same time build the Women’s Health team which will be of great benefit to patients.

My journey

I moved to the UK from India as a Physiotherapist in 2005. I had a keen interest in women’s health, so developed my skills and knowledge in Women’s Health Physiotherapy. I have been working as a Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist since 2012 and achieved a postgraduate certificate in Women’s Health at Bradford University last year. I moved to Connect via TUPE in January 2019 and decided to explore the career opportunities presented by working for an independent company.

My ambition for my role in Connect is to make services more seamless for the patient

Ultimately, I’d like to refine the referral process so that patients get to me before it’s too late, and they’ve lost motivation and deteriorated. I’d also like to expand my patient cohort to include complex pelvic patients, men’s health conditions, bladder and bowel problems, and sexual dysfunction.

I’m hopeful that my role at Connect will give me the chance to introduce a self- referral system and work alongside the community MDT such as GPs, the Continence Service and Community Midwife Team to provide best, evidence-based care and treatment.

I haven’t been with Connect very long, but already I feel reassured

It’s been a very short time, but I’ve been assured I’ll be supported to build up the Women’s Health Physiotherapy in Brent. If I can grow the service, that’s going to give me the opportunity to utilise my skills and knowledge, and the variety to make me more experienced in that field.

I feel fully supported

Connect is quite open to me, listening to and welcoming my ideas. For me, this feels like it could be the right place to grow my physio skills and knowledge, and at the same time it will be of benefit to the patients.

Throughout my career, my passion is in treating patients. This role gives me a unique opportunity, to break down barriers and help the right people at the right time.

Women’s Health Physiotherapy

The Women’s Health Physiotherapy Service is run by specialist Physiotherapists with extensive knowledge and skills to treat various women’s health conditions. During pregnancy and after delivery, a large number of women suffer from musculoskeletal conditions such as pelvic girdle pain (PGP) (formerly addressed as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction: SPD), low back pain, rib flare, thoracic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, 3rd and 4th degree perineal tears, separation of abdominal muscles (Diastasis recti) and tailbone pain (coccydynia).

The Women’s Health Physiotherapist offers expert assessment and appropriate treatment to manage these conditions effectively. This should improve women’s physical fitness, prevent long-term complications, reduce pain, disability and stress.

Women’s Health Physiotherapy has been proven clinically effective and the pelvic floor muscle exercises are highly recommended as a first-line conservative treatment for incontinence issues. The Women’s Health Physiotherapists play a vital role in treating uro-gynaecological conditions such as urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of urine leakage), faecal incontinence (involuntary loss of faeces and wind), constipation, pelvic organ prolapse and, chronic pelvic pain (vulvodynia, vaginismus, pudendal neuralgia, dyspareunia, bladder pain syndrome etc.). Their input involves pelvic floor muscle assessment and exercises, bladder and bowel training and advice on lifestyle. Also, the women undergoing gynaecological or incontinence related surgery highly benefit from appropriate rehabilitation and lifestyle measures to improve their function and quality of life.

Example patient

A 49-year-old woman had suffered from urinary incontinence for over 15 years, with a history of long term psychological issues such as panic attacks and depression. Embarrassment prevented her from seeking help, but after several years she was referred to Kavita via the Community Continence Service.

They are now working together to train her pelvic floor and manage her urinary incontinence and constipation. Together they have made a plan for the future, which gives her both motivation and compliance. She feels more able to manage her symptoms, understands her condition much better and wishes she had been referred to Kavita much earlier. Kavita is liaising with Talking Therapies, the patient’s GP and the Continence Service to assist the patient to manage her problems effectively.

You can download Kavita Chokski’s Story here

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