‘A whole other world’

Sophie Paish shines a light on the work of physiotherapists in a private acute hospital setting

Sophie Paish physiotherapist private Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Manchester
Sophie Paish is a physiotherapist at the private Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Manchester

Paediatric and adult intensive care, oncology, cardiothoracic, gynaecology, paediatric neurorehabilitation, selective dorsal rhizotomy, neurology, spinal, head and neck surgery, orthopaedics and general surgery are just some of the areas I would not have associated with the private sector. 

If you’d have asked me 12 years ago what being a physiotherapist working in the private sector was, I would have said it was a heavily MSK clinic or sport-based role.

But I was very naive and somewhat ignorant to what the private sector was, and it wasn’t something I was exposed to when completing my studies which were more NHS-biased.

When I qualified, working in the private sector as an acute physiotherapist never even crossed my mind.

It was never considered. It was a whole other world.  

If you ask me now what being a physiotherapist working in the private sector is, I can describe a multitude of specialities and services that I was completely unaware of until I made the decision a few years into my career to leave the NHS for a private role.

It was only by chance that when relocating, I found a private hospital within my job search.

Prior to this, I hadn’t come across a private hospital or thought to ever explore it as an employment opportunity.

This was possibly down to my presumption that I would de-skill out of an NHS acute environment and, having only been qualified a handful of years, this wasn’t something I thought to entertain. 

When undertaking my degree, I had never originally envisioned that I would be able to increase my skillset beyond a level I thought was only achievable in an NHS setting.

The private sector has enabled me to experience a huge array of specialities and opportunities within my clinical career to date.

I have worked with patients from a variety of settings and backgrounds, including charities, research trials and overseas residents, to identify a few.

The private sector is most definitely more than the cliché of MSK clinics I once thought it may have been. 

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