Working for Connect Health enables professional growth as a clinician

Sophie Coggins, Occupational Therapist specialising in chronic pain at Connect Health Pain Services, talks about her fascinating journey to finding the job she loves. She highlights there is a great sense of trust and feels valued and respected as a clinician.

People Stories

Tags: |

Psychology was my first love

At school I’d heard about the field of Psychology – understanding the nature of human behaviours and their motivations – and straight away I was intrigued. Growing up in a safe and loving family environment, I’ve always wanted to support people as much as I could so opted to study this at A-level and went on to do the degree at the University of Liverpool.


Occupational Therapy was my next move

I knew I wanted to work in the NHS because of what it stands for – free healthcare for all, regardless of race, sexuality, religion- from cradle to grave. I went onto the NHS careers website and came across Occupational Therapy. This is a profession where you help people experiencing aging, illness or accidents to maximise their independence.


In that year I had a significant life event

My dad passed away. It was catastrophic and devastating. As I was so bereft and grieving, I took a job as a band 5 in the NHS on the physical side (rather than the mental health side of OT).


I moved into the community

Then in 2016, I decided to accept a senior OT role in the community and worked in an Integrated Urgent Care Team. Whilst there, I met a Physio who introduced me to the idea that the NHS is a job for life. Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to travel the world, and him saying this was a turning point for me.


March 2016 I truly began travelling, starting with beautiful Cuba

This was followed by New Zealand, Samoa, Europe and by the end of that year I branched out and went to Bali and in 2017 Miami, French Alps, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, sometimes with my mum or a friend but mostly alone, making friends along the way.


2018 I became a yoga teacher

I went to an Ashram (a space to practice and study Yoga/Meditation and other spiritual practices) in Majorca. It’s ran by an Indian school and I completed a 200-hour multi-style teacher training in 3 weeks. Later, after a year in Australia working as an OT, lockdown hit.


I joined Connect Health in the middle of the pandemic

Having enjoyed working for Transform Physio I came across the role at Connect Health Pain Services. At the video interview, I asked if there was a role that could bring my OT, Psychology and Yoga together, and as Connect Health uses a biopsychosocial approach, the role felt perfect, so I started in December 2020.


At Connect Health I feel you are constantly adding strings to your bow, to offer new insights and understand current research.


I was inducted via Teams and I feel it was the best start to a job I’ve ever had

I was shadowing other professionals listening into phone calls with patients, then given a lot of CPD time. Where in the past I was given 2 wards with 20 discharges a day, for the first time in my career I was given space and time in the afternoons, to actually study the job.

There is a great sense of trust and I feel respected as a clinician. My line and regional manager are always there if I need to highlight something or need support and I feel heard and understood.


I appreciate the level of investment in staff training and learning

Once a month we receive specialist training on things like sleep, injections, medications, resilience etc., to enhance your knowledge and consistently drive up the quality of care for patients.


I love the holistic approach

I absolutely love treating my patients in a holistic way. I find if patients understand how simple breathing exercises or mindfulness affects their anatomy and physiology they are more likely to engage in the daily practice and that’s when they start to notice a shift and reduction in their symptoms of chronic pain. It’s so rewarding to see patient’s achieving their goals.


Find what feels good and do that!

My advice is discover your passion in life and research what job roles are related to it. Don’t let anybody, including yourself, tell you what you can’t do. No matter how hard or impossible the journey feels, know that the entire universe out with lanterns, waiting to show you the way. Working in this role has given me the confidence to start the next chapter of my career: Setting up my own business to deliver Yoga and Holistic Therapies.


Working for Connect Health enables professional growth. It’s an environment where your unique skills are valued, achievements praised and there are opportunities to develop and learn as a professional.