Andrea Daley

Technical instructor Andrea Daley assists 9 physiotherapists in community paediatrics at Wansbeck Hospital in Northumberland.

I joined the CSP 15 years ago in order to be part of a union and to have the safety behind me should I ever need any support. I assist nine physiotherapists and can work independently in the community carrying out physio programs - and I’m able to change these in accordance to children's needs for special schools, mainstream schools and homes.

Has your career path been different to the way you expected it to go?  What made it different?

I applied for lots of different jobs in our local hospital ranging from healthcare, radiography and physiotherapy assistant. At that point I had never needed a physio, so therefore had no idea all the different specialties.

I started working on the orthopaedic wards as a physio assistant part time, and as a radiography assistant. I thoroughly enjoyed helping the patients when they were so ill. When another post came up in community paediatric physio I left the radiography department.

A full-time paediatric post came up which meant I could treat more children and have more responsibility. I’ve been in paediatrics now for 14 years  - I love the job, the children and the team.

What have been the most enjoyable experiences in your career?

Being able to set a chair up and to hand over safely a specialist chair so a profoundly disabled child could sit at the dinner table with his family for the first time on Christmas day.

Also having the skills and ability to look after a severely autistic child for his mother while his brother could have an physiotherapy assessment.

Do you have any funny stories to share with us?

Many years ago at Physiotherapy UK we did a mock-up representatives conference, going into groups and demonstrating how proposals are presented and how debates take place.

I made up a story for a proposal that our trust should promote cycling to work, but said that I have BO and therefore would need a shower before work. We wanted the trust to provide this. The proposal went down very well and everyone laughed.

A few weeks later I was shocked to see that my manager had put Frontline magazine in our staff room - and there was my 'admittance' at CSP conference that I had BO!

What does the 21st anniversary of CSP associate membership mean to you?

We have come along way from just cleaning beds and making tea. We are great valued members of the massive physiotherapy world and I feel that the CSP have helped a great deal in this achievement.

If you could give one message to your peers from what you have learnt in your career, what would it be?

As I tell all new assistants: Don’t ever feel pressured into carrying out a task that you don’t feel you are confident in or haven't had the training for. Have the confidence to ask for more training before potentially making a mistake. We all need to learn.