Placement profiles: remote patient contact

These case studies highlight innovative student placements involving remote contact with patients. These Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) may include telephone consultations, video consultations or digital contact. 

Charity based role-emerging community placement, Essex

Demonstrating the impact of having physiotherapists within a service, Dean Jeffreys developed a placement opportunity in the charity MS-UK.

Dean Jeffreys, Online Programme and Projects Manager, MS-UK 
Dean Jeffreys

Find out more

Who was involved: Dean Jeffreys, Online Programme and Projects Manager MS-UK 

Read the full placement profile:


Supporting older people’s health and wellbeing with a collaborative placement approach, Huddersfield

THRIVE, a student-led telehealth coaching service to support older people during the pandemic, was set up in collaboration with two charities by Bethan Hebberd at the University of Huddersfield.

Bethan Hebberd, University of Huddersfield
Bethan Hebberd

Why was it innovative?

Not only did this placement develop students’ telehealth coaching skills, it also addressed a gap in practice provision, sought to meet the needs of the local community and enabled inter-professional learning, as both physiotherapy and occupational therapy students took part. Projects were completed with a 5:1 student to educator model and supervision was completed remotely.

Who was involved?

  • Bethan Hebberd, physiotherapy lecturer, University of Huddersfield.
  • Age UK Wakefield.
  • Aspire, a community charity for over-55s in Huddersfield.

Top Tips

  • You need adequate admin support and IT systems.
  • Don’t assume that the students have IT skills.
  • Increased peer support and learning about health coaching has helped students to gain confidence.

Read the full placement profile:


A university-led placement to develop remote consultation skills, Norwich

Dr Kelly Walker and team at the University of East Anglia developed a six-week remote placement for 55 students to increase their knowledge about telehealth consultations.

Kelly Walker, University of East Anglia
Kelly Walker

Why was it innovative?

Acknowledging the huge rise in telehealth for physiotherapy consultations, the academic team created a placement structure that included teaching, health coaching, motivational interviewing, virtual case studies and project work. Peer learning and feedback between students increased their confidence levels.

Who was involved?

  • Dr Kelly Walker, course director of BSc physiotherapy, University of East Anglia.

Top Tips

  • Where possible, integrate clinicians using telehealth in practice.
  • Where possible, integrate service users throughout the placement.
  • Ensure students are prepared in terms of IT requirements and interpersonal skills.

Read the full placement profile:


Implementing a virtual student placement model, multi-centred

Matthew Wyatt of Connect Health developed an innovative musculoskeletal (MSK) student placement model that is completed remotely from students’ homes.

Matthew Wyatt, consultant physiotherapist and regional clinical lead
Matthew Wyatt

Why was it innovative?

The placement model offers three core elements: shadowing and co-delivering remote consultations; planning and delivering patient exercise and education sessions; and engaging with a range of educational learning resources. Not only has this led to fantastic learning opportunities for students but it has also increased the organisation's virtual offering and placement capacity, with more than 200 placements being completed since April 2020.

Who was involved?

  • Matthew Wyatt, consultant physiotherapist and regional clinical lead, Connect Health.

Top tips

  • Consider what aspects of your service students could shadow – for example MSK, Advanced Practice Physiotherapy, pain, rheumatology and occupational health clinics.
  • Consider in what way students could get some patient interaction.
  • Consider how students could help to improve your offering.

Read the full placement profile:


Last reviewed: