After qualifying in 1991 from St Mary’s Hospital in London I worked in many different areas within the NHS and spent 8 years as a specialist Oncology Physiotherapist at both the Royal Marsden Hospital in Fulham and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust in London; here I developed my skills for clinical rehabilitation and staff training. I then moved into musculoskeletal private practice, a field I have worked in now for 13 years and have specialised in the management of back pain for the last 8 years. I have worked in private practice in London and Cranleigh and also within the NHS as an Extended Scope Practitioner at the Medwyn Back Pain Clinic which involved working with a team of GPs, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rheumatologists and psychologists; this role has developed my skills in the diagnosis and management of back pain and has given me opportunities to learn about the surgical and non-surgical management of back pain.
I run a back school for Dorking Healthcare, it is a group class with a combined approach of education and exercise which we now know has the best outcomes for patients with chronic low back pain. I also help run a CBT pain management group which tackles the psychology of pain and teaches strategies to help people manage long term painful conditions. My newest role is as a First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP) for Dorking Healthcare; I work alongside GPs in assessing musculoskeletal problems, this is a new initiative by NHS England to reduce the workload of the GPs and ensure patients are seen by the most appropriate health professional. In this role I see people with a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, assess them, diagnose them, give them advice about their condition and refer on for further treatment or investigations as necessary. This is a very challenging role as all this is done within a 20-minute appointment; a stark contrast to the 45 mins or an hour I have in private practice!
My role here at Bevan Wilson as a spinal specialist means I can take the time to guide you through your diagnosis, explain imaging results, look at all aspects of your life that maybe influencing your back pain and provide a plan of self-management with recommendations for any further treatments.
I have had a specialist interest in the management of back pain for many years and have used Pilates as a key element in my approach to not only managing back pain but many other musculoskeletal injuries. I am a qualified APPI (Australian Physiotherapy Pilates Institute) Instructor using modified exercises adapted to ensure safety when exercising with an injury. Pilates focuses on improving strength and flexibility of the whole body with an emphasis on the core muscles that can help to support the spine. My classes are always limited to a small number of clients to ensure close supervision and are therefore suitable for any age or level of fitness.