2020 has been a difficult year for many people, me included. I lost a close relative during lockdown (not COVID related) and, like many others, had no work from March to August. Also like many others, I was able to claim furlough, but this had its limitations. When the time came to restart work, I expected things would get back to some kind of normal. Instead, I only had enough work to cover one day a week, which was far from ideal. Apart from being frustrating, the lack of income was also a big problem.
Thankfully, as an experienced neuro physiotherapist, there were options available to me. I found that locum jobs frequently became available and I found a job with the Leeds Community Neuro Rehab Team (CNRT) in the local NHS service.
The CNRT works to support adults with long-term neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy (CP), head injury and many other conditions. As well as physiotherapists the team includes nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and dieticians.
The waiting list for the CNRT grew over lockdown due to the restrictions placed on treating people in their own homes and the closure of the in-patient unit. The CNRT reopened for home visits in mid-September and they needed an experienced physiotherapist to join their team short term to help treat patients who were on the waiting list.
I last worked in the NHS in a team 11 years ago and to be part of a multi-disciplinary team again is very interesting. When working as a team, it is usual for all team members to be based in the same building and to share an office. Due to COVID this is not happening. All team members are remote working (from home) and we meet virtually via Microsoft Teams. Getting to know other team members is a slow process when you do not physically meet each other!
The opportunity to use my physiotherapy skills and earn some income is very welcome. I know that I will learn from this experience and grow as a therapist. This experience is a great opportunity to share knowledge and skills with other therapists. I do not expect this to be a permanent placement as I really would like to get back to treating my own clients and being fulltime in Positive Positioning again. However, I am fortunate that I can continue the work I love in a different capacity in these challenging times.