Nikki, Therapy Team Manager Out-Patient Services

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Why did you want to move into Physiotherapy?

Following multiple knee surgeries back in the 1980’s I was lucky enough to have gained personal experience as a patient receiving physiotherapy at Peterborough District Hospital. This experience cemented by desire to become a physiotherapist and persevere with applying for what was a very popular career choice at the end of the 1980’s.

Tell us about your journey in the NHS? 

I successfully graduated from Salford School of physiotherapy in 1991 & worked at Lincoln County Hospital as a basic grade physio until I joined Peterborough Hospital in 1992. As I was the only basic grade physio  (now known as physiotherapist)  I essentially had the pick of the rotations so gained experience in Women’s health, in-patient respiratory, orthopaedics and musculoskeletal. 

Luckily for me I gained a senior II post in orthopaedics covering a maternity leave that progressed to a substantive role and stayed in that role for the next five years. I had the opportunity to work on the elective wards and thoroughly enjoyed my time there as the team were extremely supportive and delivered excellent patient care.

In 1998 I had the opportunity to move sideways into musculoskeletal outpatients and jumped at the chance as this had always been my area of interest particularly knee rehabilitation and back pain. Since then I have progressed my career through senior physiotherapist, Clinical Lead Musculoskeletal to the post I hold now – Outpatient Therapy Team Manager.

Tell us about your current role and what you love about it? 

My role now oversees the Outpatient Therapy Service provision of both Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy at Peterborough City Hospital, Stamford Hospital and a small number of clinics at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. I have an excellent team that covers the following outpatient specialities:

Amputees, hand therapy, musculoskeletal, neuro, paediatrics, pain management, respiratory, women’s and men’s health

Whilst most of my time now is management based I do still retain my clinical skills through the provision of Occupational Health physiotherapy clinics at PCH. For me this is by far my most satisfying part of my job – the interaction with my patients and trying the best I can to ensure they remain fit for their role.

What do you enjoy most about working for the Trust?

I have seen a lot of changes during my 29 years with the Trust – in house processes, staff changes, a move to new premises as well as the development of a more inclusive and diverse staff network. All with the ultimate aim to make the Trust the place to work for. I am proud to work for the NHS and NWAngliaFT and to wear the rainbow flag with pride.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role? 

Due to Covid–19, 2020 has been undoubtedly the most challenging year in my 28 years of clinical experience and particularly the last 18 years as a manager. The movement of 90% of my outpatient team to support the wards and assist staff to ensure our most urgent outpatients were treated during this time definitely challenged my organisational skills as the outpatient manager and my overall well-being skills.

The staff that remained to support the outpatient provision and those that subsequently returned have adapted and embraced the new ways of working. These methods include the use of media to facilitate patient contact and we remain the highest users within the Trust of the virtual Attend Anywhere platform. My senior staff are continuing to take this forward in conjunction with the Communication team and I look forward to seeing all their hard work uploaded to the Trust platforms. I couldn’t be prouder of my Outpatient team they are all exceptional staff.