Katherine is the Team Leader for Inpatient Physiotherapy at Spire Norwich Hospital.
We are all very aware of what we want to achieve together and are dedicated to succeed
"When I first qualified as a physio I worked in the NHS and had specialised in neurology, which I really enjoyed. After a break to start a family I preferred the benefits of the private sector. I started working at BUPA/Spire Norwich Hospital 9 years ago – initially as a bank in-patient physio, then for just a few hours a week on contract – which quickly increased! I have been in my current role as Team Leader for Inpatient Physiotherapy for almost 3 years.
I am very lucky as I have an extremely varied role. I am responsible for the day-to-day provision of a 7-day physiotherapy service to the wards. I am responsible for treating patients myself and for rostering the staffing, recruiting and orientating new staff and ensuring training needs are met. An important part of my role is to ensure that we work effectively as a team and I work very closely with my colleagues to continually look at ways in which we can improve and develop our service and improve and develop ourselves.
I particularly enjoy introducing and managing change and in Spire there are plenty of opportunities for that. I was especially pleased to be involved with the introduction of the enhanced orthopaedic protocols to the hospital – the success of which relied on us working together as a team and with most other departments to achieve a consistent approach. As has been said so many times before, communication was most definitely the key and it was hugely rewarding seeing the changes implemented successfully.
I have learnt an enormous amount about people-management: effective selection and recruitment, team-working, how to assist in developing others and how to have ‘difficult’ conversations so that they are not. I have always been very target-driven but my current role has required me to develop that to motivate and drive a team to achieve our goals.
The culture in my team is hugely supportive but also hugely respectful of each other. There’s a very friendly and jovial atmosphere – we have fun but we also achieve results. We are all very aware of what we want to achieve together and are dedicated to succeed.
When I need to recruit a new team member I look for somebody who has evidence of working well as part of a team, they need to demonstrate a desire to develop, have excellent communication skills, be dedicated to providing a superior level of service and they must show that they are able to effectively plan and organise their workload.
We use a whole variety of methods to develop the team's skills: formal teaching, observation, peer-review, reflection; we agree development plans together and I attempt to tailor the level of support to the individual’s need. We always try to have a culture that encourages learning from those things that have not gone well as much as from those that have and we recognise the value of learning from each other. I try to give support flexibly and I am always open and honest with my feedback – I also try to ensure that everybody is working towards something that they are really interested in."