With regards to the multi-disciplinary workforce, Connect Health are leaders. It’s a place where osteopaths can be heard and valued as clinicians.
Osteopathy had been something I’d been wanting to do for some time
So I retrained myself later in life, funding my own schooling through osteopathy school.
In 2010, I registered as an osteopath and went into private practice
Private practice is the aim for a lot of osteopaths where we hone our skills both in diagnostics and treatment, but also learn how to manage our patients and move them onto better health using our osteopathic approach.
In 2011, I became 1st team Osteopath for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club
In professional sport I had to retrain those skills, particularly around soft tissue injury, and learnt to apply them much more quickly. It’s not completely dissimilar to private practice, except decisions need to be made with certainty and rapidly, and it taught me to stay up to date with the research particularly around sports medicine.
I have a strong interest in research
My interest in research helped me gain my clinical fellowship at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham in 2014, in the centre for spinal studies and surgery where I published 3 papers with my colleague James Booth. I enjoyed the challenge of using registry data – large amounts of data that can be collected by clinicians to aid clinical reasoning. The reason I like that element of research is I find it really democratic and it gives us the power to develop our own evidence base.
Here I was introduced to the advisory committee for the international research group Eurospine and I’m regularly involved with scientific efforts to improve our understanding of spinal therapies.
I then had an opportunity to work with Team GB
In the run up to the Rio Olympics from 2015-2017, I worked with the athletes which I loved. Then in 2018 I moved to work full time for Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust as an advanced spinal practitioner.
I moved over to Connect Health in November 2021
I was looking around for leadership opportunities and the Connect Health position came up. Leadership positions are really important for clinical development generally.
Connect Health has a very proactive approach to the multi-disciplinary workforce so it’s a natural option for people like me to gravitate towards.
So, it’s not so much about there being a lack of leadership positions elsewhere, but it’s more about wanting to move to a place where you feel you are on the same wavelength as both your colleagues and the management/clinical directorship.
There’s a culture of openness and discussion and a real will to deliver good quality MSK care.
My role at Connect Health
In my clinical day I’m responsible for the delivery of a MSK Clinical Assessment and Treatment service comprising physiotherapists, First Contact Practitioners, sports and exercise doctors, as well as advanced practitioners.
A lot of my day is clinical, and I have my own patient lists. Beyond that I’m seeking ways to improve the clinical quality, liaising with other local services and investigating how we can do what we do better. I also provide supervision and development opportunities for the clinical team. Connect Health is currently at a size where you have access to all levels of the managerial team which helps for operational support.
What I really enjoy is just how much it keeps me on my toes in terms of clinical thinking
There’s a huge range of patient presentations and that presents a clinical challenge which personally I find stimulating. Probably the main reason I like it here, is I just don’t know what’s going to come through the door.
This will be of interest to other osteopaths if they’re ready to take the challenge
It’s very possible to think holistically and apply osteopathy principles in the management of patients, albeit not always through the use of manual therapy. Another benefit is there is enough flexibility in my contract that I still retain some private practice.
For me the immediate future lies within this service
I want to see it grow and flourish and see it deliver holistic MSK care to people who really need it in the Manchester area – that’s all I’m focused on right now.
My advice is keep an open mind
I’d definitely advise people to consider looking at the Connect Health website. With regards to the multi-disciplinary workforce, Connect are leaders. It’s a place where osteopaths can be heard and valued as clinicians. You don’t have to worry about any hierarchy of disciplines. It’s really busy, it’s clinically challenging but it’s a rewarding experience where you are fully supported.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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