I have worked in the field of Neuro Physiotherapy in various posts for 24 years, straddling Primary, Secondary and Private sector work with all grades of therapists and Allied Health Professionals, stakeholders, and especially patients and carers.
After a 2-year clinical research project on optimum physiotherapy treatment times for stroke patients, I spent two years developing leadership and clinical skills in an acute setting. Moving to a clinical specialist role in a purpose-built Neuro Rehab unit for East Kent, I developed an evidence-based approach, hopefully with an approachable, open and flexible style. Simultaneously, I completed my MSc in Advanced Neuro Physiotherapy at UCL. This challenged my thought processes and time management skills, in addition to the knowledge and clinical development aspects.
Having faced the challenges of motherhood, I discovered the inequity of jobs outside London, and took on twin roles as an Extended Scope Practitioner in Multiple Sclerosis alongside a local Neuro-rehab post. After many years of managing 2 roles, in the last 18 months I have worked solely as an ESP Physio in MS full time.
Throughout, I have been an ACPIN member. Sitting on Kent regional committee for 22 years in several roles which has been extremely satisfying, especially working together in developing an expansive and well-received yearly programme of CPD. It has also been valuable for developing links with clinicians and understanding the needs of members.
I have served ACPIN at national level for six years, initially as Regional Representative for Kent. As an executive committee member, I helped deliver the annual conference which evolved into an International conference over the last couple of years.
Currently I hold the Cabinet Member for Regional Affairs which was a new role in the redesign of the Board structure in 2017, to establish formal links forging a two-way mechanism for communication between National Board and the 18 ACPIN Regions. The portfolio has evolved in the last 12 months with the use of social media for direct contact improving efficiency, bi monthly on-line meetings and bi annual council meetings. These meetings rotate around the UK allowing each region to steer the direction of the meetings. This format can only raise the profile of ACPIN to all stakeholders’ and allow other regions to replicate good practise and ensure transparency between the Board, Council and the wider membership.
The role has also ensured that there is a clear clinical governance structure in place to ensure adherence with our new Charitable status, the new data protection laws and our internal policies and structure. It is imperative that ACPIN ensures that the future vision and strategies in the next 5 years are established throughout the membership, in a forward-thinking approach, driving our profession into the forefront of the public, government and to wider stakeholders’ attention.
I am still driven by challenges and motivated to ensure we move with the times. I love to work with a team of like-minded individuals for a great purpose. This is an exciting time for ACPIN at every level, defining the opportunities to become “the go to” network not only for UK physiotherapists, but also International colleagues, and to the wider network of health professionals, agencies and the governments in all our four Nations.