Our most recent case study comes from Lolly Trehern who is an Operating Department Practitioner.
Lolly was working as a Band 5 Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) before leaving to go on maternity leave and then be at home with her child. Read Lolly's full case study.
We also have a number of handy postcards, outlining returnee journeys, see them by following the link.
Case study excerpts
At the beginning of 2022, HEE supported a number of returners on a leadership programme. Sumeet is one such returner.
Sumeet is a Physiotherapist, he qualified in 2016 and worked as a rotational physiotherapist before leaving to work in a local authority public health team. Currently he works as a youth worker specifically working with young adults who have disabilities, is in the final stages of his return to practice journey and has shared his experiences on the Leadership Programme with us.
Why undertake the Leadership Programme
“I wanted to complete a leadership programme as I had personal goals around developing my leadership skills and wanted to be able to integrate leadership skills when I return to work as a physiotherapist. I also wanted to see a project through from inception to delivery as this was important to me.”
Sumeet’s leadership objectives
“My main leadership objectives were to develop an understanding of how national programmes can influence local service delivery as well as developing skills around effective teamworking with people I have only met virtually.”
Projects Sumeet has been involved
“I have been involved in supporting a series of webinars for the Return to Practice Programme, these webinars have been developed to support returnees on their journey to return to practice and will be uploaded to SharePoint once completed.
“I am planning on being involved with delivering the agenda of a series of webinars that we have been working on as a resource to help those currently planning on returning to practice.”
Sumeet’s advice and experience
“Through the Leadership Programme I have further developed my own skills around teamworking as well as self-directed learning - specifically developing my planning and goal setting skills. I have learnt a lot about how to effectively structure online collaboration successfully.
“The programme has been very flexible and there is great deal of support from the HEE staff and from other returners. The remote working set-up is excellent and has been really good for keeping in contact with my peers throughout the programme.
“It has provided me the opportunity to work and communicate effectively with new people and use action learning sets as a way of developing my peer and self-learning skills. I undertook self-reflective sessions and work collaboratively with my peers to come up with solutions to any problems that arose.”
“One thing I have found challenging is being able to separate things out and keep track of everything whilst working full time as my work email is the same as the email I have for the programme, but I’ve managed.
“The coaching sessions have been very helpful and have enabled me to develop the ability to reflect and learn from some of my experiences in the NHS. They have also given me a view of some of the current changes that are occurring in the NHS.
I have found that physiotherapy is something you ‘are’ rather than something you do.
I qualified in 1992 and after spending some years working in orthopaedics I left to have a family thinking that it would be easy for me to return once my children started school. But things turned out a little different from what I expected and after spending a number of years running my own retail training business and then moving into operations management for a charity, I was left wondering whether I would ever get back into physiotherapy.
Feeling unsure about where my career was going now the kids were older, I went for a coffee with a friend who asked me “What drives you?” I knew the instant he asked.
I wanted to be involved in something where I could help people rebuild their confidence in themselves. I wanted to be part of something where I could impart specialist knowledge in a way that it came across as common sense to who I was speaking. I wanted to enable people who were either hurt, ill, or injured to hope for a future again.
I knew I was describing who I was as a physio!
I contacted the CSP and from there found out about the return-to-practice programme run by HEE. Having been out for over 15 years I was required to complete 60 days of updating, and to do that within one year, and I wanted to do this all as supervised practice.
First, I got in touch with a physio I had met at a CSP event and spent a week shadowing her at St Nicholas' Hospice to check that it all made some sense to me - and I loved it! So, I contacted my local hospital and had an MSK placement all set up, and was about to hand my notice in, when the covid-19 pandemic hit, and the placement fell through. It was a horrid time for a whole load of reasons, but I was really determined so I started looking at the formal and private study options that I could use for completing my updating hours and got stuck into online study around my full-time job. I was hooked!
After several months and quite a few emails and calls, plus presenting on HEE webinar about RtP, I secured a supervised placement on the wards at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. They were so accommodating despite being in the second wave of the pandemic. I spent a couple of weeks each across orthopaedics, respiratory, community and medical wards and gained a huge amount of experience in a concentrated amount of time. It was full-on going across the different specialities like that, but I can thoroughly recommend it if you feel you’ve been out so long that you just need all-round experience to get yourself back into the mindset.
When the West Suffolk Hospital advertised for a band 5 position just as I had received confirmation of being back on the HCPC register I applied without hesitation; and was offered the job! I am now thoroughly enjoying being back on rotations. I would say to anyone considering returning – ask yourself what drives you? Is that what you get from being an AHP? And if the answer is ‘yes’, then go for it with all you’ve got! Write those emails, pick up that phone, search out that podcast, that online seminar, that course, that book, and get back to doing what you love!
You are already qualified! You just need to get back on that register!
I am a Podiatrist that qualified 16 years ago in Portugal. I've been off the register for 8 years. Returning to practice would have been a daunting experience was it not for the magnificent support I've received throughout this 6 month journey. This experience was absolutely enjoyable and valuable thanks to The RTP HEE programme! I strongly encourage anyone considering returning to practice to explore this route and I am certain the outcome will be brilliant! I am now back on the register with several job offers so far.
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