Real-life story - Peter Eckersley
Peter's interest in physiotherapy began at school when he went on a work experience placement at his local hospital .
My interest in physiotherapy began on a work experience placement at my local hospital while I was at school.
I remember being struck by the range of patients the physiotherapists treated during that first spell of work experience. The physiotherapists there looked after everyone from patients recovering from a stroke to those who had just had knee ligament surgery. After some more work experience I decided to apply for the degree course and qualified as a physiotherapist in 2001.
I’ve worked at North Manchester General Hospital for 13 years now, beginning as a band 5 physiotherapist where I gained experience across a range of specialties including musculoskeletal outpatients and medical, surgical, rehabilitation and infectious diseases wards.
I was successful in moving to band 6 level in 2004 where I added neurology to my experience, and I became team leader for inpatient orthopaedic physiotherapy in 2007.
A typical day is mainly spent on the wards helping people to mobilise and recover from their orthopaedic surgery – anyone from patients who have planned total hip or knee replacements to elderly ‘trauma’ patients who have fallen and broken their hip. It is very satisfying to help patients progress from admission to discharge home after their surgery.
As a team leader, I am also responsible for the training and development of my team and for developing the service to ensure we are providing the best quality care for our patients.
I have become very interested in leadership and enjoy that aspect of my current role. I took part in the NHS Leadership Academy Clinical Fellowship Programme in 2011/12, which resulted in a postgraduate certificate in NHS leadership and service improvement. It has given me a far greater range of skills to use as team leader, and led to my workplace project from the programme - to improve our care of patients with a fractured hip - being presented at an international healthcare conference in 2013.