Choosing the right physiotherapy job for you
By Dan Allard
With a choice of permanent employment, agency work and private practice, there are numerous ways for you to take control over your physiotherapy career. We outline the key differences between each type of employment.
The benefits of permanent physiotherapy jobs
As the UK’s largest employer, the NHS offers the widest range of physiotherapy jobs. You may be starting your career as a band 5 physiotherapist or moving into advanced clinical practice roles. Whatever the case, you can feel confident that the NHS will support you with your learning and development.
Physiotherapy is not just about helping people to recover from minor injuries. Physiotherapy treatment plans can help people with learning disabilities to live independently. Physiotherapy can also help patients to recover if they have been in the intensive care unit (ICU) or within neurology or cardiology wards. Therefore, many physiotherapists choose to work in permanent positions where they can learn from esteemed colleagues in reputable trusts.
Permanent physiotherapy roles within the NHS come with a guaranteed income, set hours and specific line management. You will be entitled to statutory sick pay and a generous annual leave allowance. Many physios also enjoy the standard 37.5 hour working pattern that is found within many NHS Trusts.
The benefits of agency physiotherapy jobs
Locum work offers greater flexibility for many healthcare professionals - they can retain control over when and where they work. Locum work can also give physiotherapists access to higher rates of pay.
Band 6 physiotherapists may prefer to gain specific experience in niche areas such as advanced clinical practice. This can lead to them rising up the NHS banding system much quicker than their permanently employed colleagues.
Some choose to blend permanent working with supplementary locum positions. Some also choose to use agency physiotherapy jobs as a way of making sure that they remain fully compliant with statutory and mandatory training.
Blending private practice with NHS jobs
Physiotherapy is an area of healthcare that lends itself to private practice. Many physiotherapists enjoy being able to combine the two. They enjoy the independence of private work but also benefit from the collaboration and teamwork that comes from working with other healthcare professionals within the NHS. We recently spoke to physiotherapist Tess Ellis, who told us why she likes to mix NHS and private work in our Work/Life interview.