#DYWKeyworker - Eilidh Brown

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020

Name: Eilidh Brown

Job Title: Duration of employment – almost 10 years. Initially Physiotherapist (bank) - Arbroath– temporary for 6 months Then Rotational Physiotherapist (Perth) for around 2.5 years, Senior Physiotherapist – Alexandria for 2 years; Advanced Practice Physiotherapist/Deputy Team Lead (current role) for the past 4 and a half years.

Company: NHS

Hometown: Bishopton/Dunoon

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

My gran had two strokes and I saw the difference rehabilitation could make to someone’s life. This made me look into Physiotherapy and I loved the variation in roles that Physios could work in. I’ve been really lucky to get experience in a number of different roles across a variety of settings and it has brought me opportunities I could never have imagined.

How long have you been with the company?

I’ve worked in the NHS for almost 10 years and NHS Highland for just over four years

Describe your day-to-day role;

Days are never the same, especially at the moment.

I primarily work in MSK outpatients and Orthopaedic MSK clinics. A typical day sees me doing triage of referrals from a number of sources (GP, hospital, the patients themselves) and liaising with admin to get patients booked in.

A normal clinic means we see a number of patients a day, and plan their ongoing rehabilitation. As well as treating them in the department, we might arrange things like scans, Xrays or onward management like surgeries. We also run exercise groups and classes

What kind of training have you done?Have you completed any professional qualifications?

I did a four year BSc honours degree initially

Have you completed any professional qualifications?

Yes – I got a diploma in injection therapy so I can complete corticosteroid injections as part of a patient’s treatment regimen.

I’ve also completed a masters module in Independent Prescribing, so within my role can advise on pain relief and prescribe medication as required.

Do you like living and working in the Inverness & Highlands?

Although I don’t live in the Highlands any more, it is my home and I like working in the area and usually stay over at least once per week. The proximity of Dunoon to the hills and outdoor activities are a real pull, and I still run with the local Hill Running Group. Dunoon has the added advantage of being so close to Glasgow for nightlife and shopping, although the Scottish Music scene in Argyll takes a lot to beat!

There’s a good Physiotherapy team throughout Argyll and Bute which makes the job easier.

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

Communication, Organisation and Adaptability

Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

I was surprised when I came to Highland how many opportunities there were for training and development, and how supported this was.

Is there anything unusual about your role?

Compared to most areas, we have small teams spread over larger areas. This means that for some clinics I have a ferry commute!

Do you get a lot of support from your company?

NHS Highland have been good to work for. I feel a valued member of the Physiotherapy team

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I like the variety- no two days are the same.

Alongside my NHS work I’ve been really lucky to be involved in professional sport since graduating, and this has taken me to many different places. I worked as a Physiotherapist at the World Badminton Championships in 2017 and at the Women’s U19 European Championships in 2019. Physiotherapy in football has taken me to many different countries as part of the Scottish FA Physiotherapy team.

I love the ability to make a difference to someone’s life. This comes in many different ways, from helping them return to activity from an injury to supporting and helping with pain control. Rehabilitation from life-changing events like strokes or amputations are very rewarding.

Respiratory Physiotherapy is a role which has gained prominence during covid19 and is an area people don’t expect to see us. The difference you can make in helping someone’s chest clearance is massive.

Rehabilitation and seeing the whole person, and helping them return to their lives is really rewarding.

Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?

Yes, since I was about 13/14

What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

There are many ways to achieve an end goal – sometimes it takes longer than others. I’ve seen many different routes into the NHS, from people like me who went straight into University then work from school to those who have taken a different path bringing different experiences to the role. There is no “right way”

What is your career goal?

Physiotherapy is developing into different areas, such as First Contact in GP surgeries. I’ve already achieved more than I envisaged at this stage so my goal is to continue to learn and reflect and progress. In the medium-term, I’m hoping to complete a Masters degree

How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19?

Covid-19 has changed a lot of how we work, and resulted in changes to how our services run. This has moved us to working remotely to assess some patients, while continuing to see patients in the clinic when it is necessary. As part of the response I’ve been a part of our local “hub” team where we support the hospital in helping organise staffing, equipment, PPE and general logistics. This has been a steep learning curve but I have enjoyed supporting my colleagues and doing what I can to help. Some of this has meant changing how we work, and helping on wards to ensure that we are well staffed.

Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker?

I enjoy helping people, and am proud to be a small part in a very large team working against covid19