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William Leeper

William is a Critical Care Physiotherapy Assistant Practitioner at Cambridge University Hospitals Addenbrooke’s. Read below his thoughts and experiences.

My role as a Critical Care Physiotherapy Assistant Practitioner (PAP) involves supporting the qualified physiotherapist’s in delivering high quality, life-changing care across the critical care setting and increasing capacity for the qualified therapists to direct their attention to more specialist treatments.

My role focuses on a number of specific areas including:

  • Providing therapy input: through active and complex exercise plans.
  • Monitoring and evaluating patient progress within their treatment programme and reporting any changes back to the relevant professional in an appropriate and agreed timescale.
  • Supporting the qualified therapists and nursing staff with double ups and manual handling techniques.
  • Rehabilitating and mobilising patients alongside physiotherapy colleagues.
  • Assisting with the signposting to other services, where appropriate e.g. psychological support services, occupational therapy.
  • Reviewing and independently progressing routine surgical patients on the Intermediate Dependency Area (IDA).
  • Closely monitoring a patient for any change in their vital signs.
  • Being an active member of the physiotherapy multi-disciplinary team within critical care.

The role is varied and very rewarding and requires you to work in a flexible and dynamic way.

I enjoy and am committed to putting patient care at the heart of my work and feel it is in my nature. There is no better feeling than knowing you are helping and providing life-changing care to someone who is in real need.

Since the age of 18, I have involved myself within care work. Initially I cared for elderly people, helping them maintain their independence and giving companionship. I also have a love and enthusiasm for health and fitness.

I am actively keen on sports and keeping to a healthy lifestyle both mental and physical. This led me to apply for a job within therapies and later specifically within physiotherapy. I am now working towards my goal of becoming a fully qualified physiotherapist.

I am always learning within my role and feel fortunate that I have colleagues around me that are happy to offer teaching. I am a real advocate for expressing interest in further learning – for example a secondment. This gives you the opportunity to continue your professional development, gain experience in a variety of different settings and learn new skills.

I am proud to be the first AHP support worker within critical care at my trust- Cambridge University Hospitals Addenbrooke’s. Most of all I am proud of working within a wonderful team and organisation (NHS) and helping deliver the highest possible standards and quality outcomes for our patients.

If you want a highly rewarding career within healthcare then being an AHP support worker gives you just that. It offers good training; progression opportunities, gives you lots of room to gain experience in a variety of healthcare settings and to work in a more holistic way.