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Emergency care practitioner role for physiotherapist

A physiotherapist who has landed a job as an emergency care practitioner has urged colleagues to seize new career options available to the profession.

Victoria McMahon, a band 6 respiratory physiotherapist at York Hospitals trust, will take up the post next month with South Gloucestershire primary care trust. She understands she could be one of the first allied health professionals in the role.

She told Frontline: 'Normally, some doors get closed for physios because they're from an AHP background rather than a nursing or paramedical one.

'We need to make people more aware of the skills we have to offer these jobs as physios.'

ECP roles were created to allow health staff, particularly paramedics and nurses, to develop their careers and to practise with more autonomy, and to help reduce hospital admissions by providing rapid assessment, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare.

They are based in GP surgeries, minor injuries units, walk-in centres, ambulance services and A&E departments.

Ms McMahon's training will include study at the University of the West of England, clinical placements and supervised practice.

She said the post appealed because she wanted to get more involved in acute medicine. 'I was looking for jobs in critical care outreach teams and it happened this job came up and ticked all the boxes - more autonomy, a more holistic approach and a chance to gain new skills.'

She added: 'The idea of ECPs is to get people with the right skills to treat patients appropriately, rather than having to send everyone to an A&E department, and then be triaged from there, so it means less pressure on secondary care.'

Beverly Mason, clinical lead manager who recruits ECPs for South Gloucestershire PCT, said: 'Victoria will join a cohort of trainees that will be predominantly paramedics that are extending their training to become ECPs within the ambulance service.'

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