Louise, 28, is a Senior Physiotherapist at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Lancashire. She started just a month after the centre opened in May 2020, and has been instrumental in providing expert care for her clients. Louise explains that being a physio is a varied and rewarding role, and that Allied Health Professions (AHPs') day on October 14th is an important celebration of the vital work that her and her colleagues across the healthcare sector carry out every day.
“We can make a huge difference to people’s lives”
Louise qualified as a physio when she was 21, and then spent several years working with the NHS, before joining the team at Sue Ryder. A typical day at Sue Ryder consists of overseeing client’s treatments, meeting with families and other health professionals, and working on goal setting and discharge plans. Because Neurological Care Centre Lancashire is so innovative, Louise explains, “we can make a huge difference to people’s lives from across the whole region.”
Louise says that her role is “about getting people home to their families”. She recalls one recent client who she took home after having finished his treatment and “to see his little boy run up to him and hug him was a really special moment”.
Embedding rehabilitation into our care
As a senior member of the team, Louise “helps carers and nurses to embed rehab into their roles” by, for example, encouraging them to allow clients to walk to the toilet themselves if they are able to. She has also been involved in training a new team of Rehabilitation Assistants and Assistant Practitioners. “Now, I couldn’t do my job without them!” she enthuses.
Asked why she wanted to become a physio, Louise replies “my biggest reason was to help people. Just being able to help someone get to the toilet on their own, and get that bit of privacy back, is an amazing feeling.” She continues, “Seeing the look on a person’s face when they take their first steps after an accident, and they realise they will be able to recover, it’s really incredible.”
Challenges and opportunities
Inevitably, Covid-19 has thrown up some challenges for Louise and the team, but also presented some new opportunities too. She has been able to allow family members to attend therapy sessions remotely, but has realised “how much families have an impact” on a client’s recovery.
She also describes the difficulty of new clients having to isolate in their room for 14 days on arrival to the centre. She has strived to “help them feel less isolated. You have to put yourself in their shoes and take a person-centred approach.”
“It would be great if we could inspire people to become an AHP in the future”
Asked about her thoughts on the upcoming Allied Health Professions day, Louise says she thinks it’s “great to raise the profile of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), because we don’t always have the same recognition as doctors and nurses.”
She explains that a Music Therapist recently joined the team, and this was a great example of an AHP that she had “never had the opportunity to work with”, but that they added so many benefits to the care the centre is able to provide.
Ultimately, she says, “it would be great if we could inspire people to become an AHP in the future. If we can convince people to go to university and become the next generation of AHPs, then that’s what it’s all about”.
Allied Health Professions day
Allied Health Professionals are the third largest healthcare workforce and AHPs’ Day on 14th October is a chance for AHPs to celebrate the amazing work they do, and showcase to others the crucial impact they make to care services such as at Neurological Care Centre Lancashire's, both in the local community and nationally.