I qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist from Queens College Glasgow in 1983 achieving a dream I had held as a teenager. As a lad I was sports mad and played football and rugby to a high level picking up various injuries along the way. So I had some early contact with rehabilitation. I was fascinated by the human anatomy and the physiology of the body. In Physiotherapy I found a job where every day was different, every patient had a new story and presented new challenges. The more I worked in Physiotherapy as a junior the more I realised the huge potential for people to recover from the insult of injury.
After working in a range of specialties I was increasingly drawn to the struggles faced by patients surviving Stroke and other neurological conditions. I went on to complete all the specialist Neuro Physio practical courses (Bobath) and completed a BSc in 1987 at Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University) with a key focus on the unmet needs of stroke survivors. I went on to lead a number of Neurological teams in Walsall Birmingham and spent 18 months teaching in Hamilton New Zealand. I have set up several community rehabilitation services and presented guest lectures on the subject of Rehabilitation at many conferences and courses. It is a pleasure to treat patients and to be able to play a part in their recovery and help their families or carers adjust to disability and find solutions to everyday problems. It is also great fun and in my career I have shared a great many laughs and a few tears with patients.
I recall one gentleman I treated near the end of his life who could not walk around his home. His wife remarked on the depressive impact this was having as he longed to visit his pigeon shed before he died and see his prize winning birds. On assessment I found that he could manage to walk safely with a little support and encouragement with a walking frame. Two weeks later his wife called me to say he had passed away, but that he had spent his last days with his birds able to walk there and as happy and content as she could have wished.
Feedback like that reaffirms why I became a Physiotherapist. In recent years I have been working as a Allied health professional leader in Greater Manchester and beyond. Developing therapy and a range of health services at a strategic level. Now semi retired I have returned to my core skills and am delighted to be working with Jane and the team at Ilkley. The passion for rehabilitation has never left me and the patients I treat continue to inspire me through their courage and determination.