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Shining example

Laura Goldie, Newcomer of the Year in the CSP 2009 Awards, has inspired patients and set up a new service in her first year in practice. Matthew Limb explains

CSP ‘newcomer of the year’ Laura Goldie hasn’t looked back since taking up her first job in private practice less than 18 months ago.

Although the Nottingham University graduate had ‘assumed’ she would join the NHS, in a tough jobs market she was delighted to secure a post at the place where she did her final elective placement.

At first she was a little wary of missing out on the range of experience, rotations and professional support that an NHS setting could offer newly qualified staff.

But her Peterborough clinic has provided such a variety of work, level of supervision, opportunity to train and professional satisfaction that she has absolutely no regrets.

She says: ‘I think the reason I enjoy it so much is that I have the chance to do so many different aspects of physio. If I was worried at the start now I don’t feel that.’

Asset

Vivienne Fort, who employs Laura at VCF Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic and nominated her for the award, says: ‘Laura is an example of what an asset a newly qualified graduate physiotherapist can be in private practice. She has truly shone out from the crowd.’

Laura has done much work with a local charity helping adults and children with learning disabilities, including people with cerebral palsy, to aid their mobility.

She helped to set up and deliver a new physiotherapy service at a local college for individuals with complex needs. This involved researching what equipment would be needed, writing treatment plans, performing joint sessions with staff members and setting aims and objectives with the patients and their support workers.

Laura explains: ‘I just kind of took it on. A lot of patients really hadn’t had much physio intervention before and when I showed the staff what they could actually do it was quite emotional.’ 

Not spoon-fed

She has gained experience treating musculoskeletal and sports injuries, neurological conditions including stroke and brain injury referrals, respiratory and chronic pain patients, and played a lead role in carrying out literature reviews. She has also recently completed an acupuncture course and a diploma with the Society of Orthopaedic Medicine and would like eventually to study at Masters level.

‘I  feel I’m continuing to progress, I don’t feel I’ve reached a plateau.’

She would like to see more private clinics choosing to employ juniors and provide them with appropriate training support and supervision.

‘I think it should be reinforced a bit more. You have to have the right attitude, you have to be prepared to study and not expect to be spoon-fed. I’ve learned a lot about business and presenting yourself and everything to do with customer service’.

Patient perspective

Elizabeth Jones was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2005 and has been receiving physiotherapy treatment from Laura at home for about a year, which enables her to exercise and strengthen ‘the muscles that are still working’. Elizabeth Jones is full of praise for Laura’s warmth and positive approach. ‘She’s got a very bubbly personality. She’s the sort of person you’ve got to do your best for.  ‘She’s encouraged me and helped me to stand , which of course helps my husband with dressing me and things like that’.   Elizabeth continues: ‘Laura’s very kind and very determined. Even if you want to give up she encourages you to carry on. I’d have given up by now otherwise’.

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