An interview with our orthopaedic physiotherapy team

Physiotherapists support patients affected by injury, illness, or disability through exercise, manual therapy, education, and advice. It is a degree-based healthcare profession and all UK physiotherapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Lauren, Ilse, Megan, and Eleni are expert physiotherapists that specialise in supporting patients with orthopaedic conditions. This means that they focus on injuries and diseases related to the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, and structures that support movement.

The orthopaedic physiotherapy team at Cromwell Hospital
The orthopaedic physiotherapy team at Cromwell Hospital

Please explain your role as a physiotherapist at Cromwell Hospital.

Lauren: At Cromwell Hospital, orthopaedic physiotherapists like myself play a pivotal role in every step of the patient journey. With a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, we bring a wealth of knowledge to better serve our patients.

The team review patients prior to their admission to provide education, and support and address any potential difficulties to minimise risks. We support patients during their stay by assisting them to mobilise safely, providing equipment and techniques to help with recovery and pain management, and to facilitate a smooth discharge home. By working within a multidisciplinary team, we actively contribute to reducing patient safety risks, improving workflow, and implementing new services across the hospital.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide expert care and ensure the best possible experience for our patients at Cromwell Hospital.

What inspired you to take on the role of senior physiotherapist?

Ilse: I started working at Cromwell Hospital just over a year ago. After five years on rotation, gaining a wide range of clinical experience in the NHS, I felt ready to pursue a career in orthopaedics and was very fortunate to get the opportunity to join the Cromwell Hospital physiotherapy orthopaedic team.

Initially I joined as agency staff, then on a fixed term contract, and recently as permanent senior physiotherapist.

Working with the team has been a wonderful experience. I have felt supported, and it has allowed me to develop my skills in acute post-surgical orthopaedic rehab, conservative management of a broad range of orthopaedic injuries, and expand my competencies in orthopaedic specific equipment fitting and prescription.

I have worked with elite sports people and highly regarded consultants, as well as paediatric patients and more complex patients requiring detailed discharge planning involving the wider MDT.

Every day brings new learning opportunities, and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge!

What does a typical day look like for you as lead orthopaedic physiotherapist?

Lauren: As lead orthopaedic physiotherapist I begin my day with a comprehensive team handover, which provides us an opportunity to ensure excellent continuity of care. We collaborate closely to review current and upcoming patients, highlight any concerns, and also address additional responsibilities such as stock check.

Among my priorities, I focus on patients scheduled for surgery, aiming to provide them with personalised and relevant information and education. I take time to teach them crutches and fit any equipment that is needed, and begin their discharge planning process to improve their transition from hospital to home.

Post operatively I find great joy in assisting patients as they take their first steps – it is a truly rewarding experience to witness and assist in their recovery. I facilitate this process with mobilisation, tailored exercises, education, and practice of functional tasks. Furthermore, I am always available to support our Acute Admissions Unit or the Outpatient Department with equipment provision and fittings.

A significant aspect of my role involves participating in meetings related to the orthopaedic service. These meetings serve as invaluable opportunities to collaborate, staying up-to-date with the latest recommendations and advancements in our field. We discuss topics such as new service development, staff training, ward updates, and patient safety, ensuring that our practices are aligned with the highest standards. Working with a wonderful team of Therapy colleagues, nurses, consultants, and allied health professionals, we strive to have a positive impact on our patients' lives.

How does your role support patients and staff at Cromwell Hospital?

Megan: What I love most about my role is that it can be more than my job title of Senior Orthopaedic Physiotherapist. I give encouragement, education, and show patients how to safely get out of bed after orthopaedic surgery. I give personalised exercises and advice on how to continue their journey at home with confidence.

I coordinate the physiotherapy service availability over the weekends and bank holidays to ensure continuity of specialised care. An on-call physiotherapy service is integral to the delivery of comprehensive and effective care.

As chairwoman of the Falls Prevention Group, I support staff and patient safety by collaborating with the wider multidisciplinary team and putting best practice into action. We provide care for patients who are at risk of falling or who have had a fall.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Eleni: I enjoy my role because it gives me the opportunity to work in a world-class hospital with top surgeons and very friendly members of staff! Every day I cherish the kindness of the staff on the ward, the support amongst us, and the motivational words that keep us going.

I treat a wide variety of orthopaedic conditions that make the workday exciting and I also get to meet some wonderful patients from all over the world!

I am glad to see my patients regaining their confidence after their operation, meeting their discharge goals, and finally getting blessings from them on their way out! The best part is when I see our paediatric patients improving their mobility post-op. All these are the things that bring great joy and give me a broad smile on my face.

Find out more about orthopaedic care at Cromwell Hospital >

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