London physio takes community matron role

A physiotherapist in London has taken on the role of community matron.

Raguraman Padmanabhan is the first physiotherapy-trained community matron in the London Borough of Newham, where he works for East London NHS foundation trust.

Community matrons provide and organise care for people with long-term conditions.

Typically the role has being filled by clinicians from a nursing background and only a handful of physiotherapists have been appointed to the post.

‘I was confident going for the post although I knew it was a nursing forte,’ said Mr Padmanabhan.

‘But I did have to complete some training – such as physical assessment, ionising radiation medical exposure regulations and phlebotomy.’

CSP director of practice and development Natalie Beswetherick said Mr Padmanabhan’s appointment was ‘great news’ and his example might encourage more physiotherapists to apply for similar positions.

‘It’s brilliant to see that a physiotherapist’s knowledge and expertise has been recognised by this appointment,’ she said.

Mr Padmanabhan will now be responsible for managing the delivery of assistive technology to the local community, including telehealth, where health services and information are accessed by patients via their televisions and phones.

‘These technologies do not replace face-to-face contacts, though,’ Mr Padmanabhan said.

‘They encourage service users to self-manage their conditions, and to lead a more healthy and balanced life.’

Robert Millett

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