Placement profiles: non-patient-facing

These profiles highlight innovative student placements involving non-patient-facing practice. They include project work, leadership development, research and service design as full-time or split placement options.

2:1 Leadership placement with a mixed virtual and face-to-face model, Leeds

Students worked on a joint project throughout the placement and looked at advanced physiotherapy roles in both orthopaedic and FCP clinics.

Jo Sainty, Operational Manager/Professional Lead
Jo Sainty

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Who was involved? Jo Sainty, Operational Manager/Professional Lead, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

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An education placement involving students in face-to-face and online university teaching, learning and project work, Sheffield

Nine students had the opportunity to develop their education skills when partaking in a teaching and learning placement at Sheffield Hallam University.

Gerry Scott and Helen Batty, Sheffield Hallam University
Gerry Scott and Helen Batty

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Who was involved? Gerry Scott, Course Lead for BSc Physiotherapy and Helen Batty, AHP Academic Delivery Manager and Senior Physiotherapy Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University

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Developing student knowledge and understanding of dementia on a project-based placement, Scotland

Students contributed to national project work focusing on the role of carers in dementia, meeting different stakeholders and evidencing their learning with multi-professional supervision.

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Lynn Flannigan, Improvement Advisor, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Lynn Flannigan

Who was involved? Lynn Flannigan, Improvement Advisor, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

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A split clinical and leadership placement developing student knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of an NHS trust, Shropshire

Providing opportunities to learn about commissioning, data, population health and more, Liz Hagon reports on how she created a placement where the student work produced also benefited the organisation.

Liz Hagon, Adult AHP Professional Lead, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
Liz Hagon

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Who was involved? Liz Hagon, Adult AHP Professional Lead, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust

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Service development placement assessing the use of a self-management tool in a community rehabilitation setting, Anglia

Combining clinical experience with an audit of the patient activation measure (PAM), Johanna Flaherty developed a project-based placement in which the students exceeded her expectations.

Johanna Flaherty, Therapy Team Leader, Anglian Community Enterprise
Johanna Flaherty

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Who was involved?: Johanna Flaherty, Therapy Team Leader, Anglian Community Enterprise

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A university-led peer enhanced e-placement (PEEP) for a full cohort of students, Plymouth

Christie Robinson describes how she created a two-week placement to develop students' digital and technology-enhanced care skills using real-time interactions with local clinicians and simulated patients.

Christie Robinson, Placement Lead, University of Plymouth
Christie Robinson

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Who was involved? Christie Robinson, Placement Lead, University of Plymouth

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A project-based approach that produced high-quality patient resources, Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Pain management physiotherapists Tracy Robertson and Lindsey Tollen developed a non-patient-facing placement for four second-year MSc students by identifying two projects that were part of their service development agenda.

Tracy Robertson and Lindsey Tollen, pain management physiotherapists, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Tracy Robertson and Lindsey Tollen

Why was it innovative?

This placement enabled a unique experience for the four students – not only were they able to develop their knowledge of physiotherapy practice in pain management services but they also demonstrated leadership skills and produced high-quality resources demonstrating creativity and diligence. This placement showcases the 4:1 student to educator ratio, peer-assisted learning and whole-team supervision.

Who was involved?

  • Tracy Robertson and Lindsey Tollen, pain management physiotherapists at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Top Tips

  • Plan well in advance and utilise the wider team to share the load.
  • Having more than one student boosts opportunities for peer learning.

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Embedding the importance of research at pre-registration level, Leicester

A collaboratively designed split placement enabling research to be directly applied in practice in a clinical setting.

Linzy Houchen-Wolloff, Shani Hector, Jakub Zatloukal, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and University of Leicester
Linzy Houchen-Wolloff, Shani Hector and Jakub Zatloukal

Why was it innovative?

With three days a week spent within a pulmonary rehab service and two days a week in a research team, this placement really brought research to life. A research question was developed and an abstract and poster produced which went on to be selected to be presented at the 2020 virtual Physiotherapy UK conference.

Who was involved?

  • Linzy Houchen-Wolloff, research physiotherapist, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
  • Jakub Zatloukal, physiotherapist.
  • Charlotte Carter Lang, practice education lead, University of Leicester.
  • Shani Hector, physiotherapy student.

Top tips

  • Choose a research dataset in advance of the placement. This will allow the learner to develop a research question around it.
  • Set up a day-by-day plan each week for topics to be covered, and provide background reading.
  • Be clear about what the learner is being asked to complete – this will likely be a new area of practice to them and setting expectations from the outset will help everyone.

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A placement combining clinical and project work, Sussex

This split placement involved students spending time in an inpatient community rehabilitation setting and undertaking projects to improve their leadership skills.

    Steffi Bailey and Katie Myers, Sussex Community Foundation NHS Trust
    Steffi Bailey and Katie Myers

    Why was it innovative?

    Service-improvement projects brought tangible benefits to the trust while at the same time boosting students' confidence and leadership skills. Students found the experience exciting and said they were pushed out of their comfort zone.

    Who was involved?

    • Steffi Bailey, physiotherapy clinical lead and Katie Myers, inpatient therapies operational lead, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

    Top tips

    • Students were able to work independently while also feeling part of the team.
    • Setting up a basic timetable allowed students to structure how to achieve project goals.
    • With clear objectives, students can achieve so much.

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