First University of Hull physiotherapy students set to graduate

Back in 2020, the University of Hull launched a new degree to help tackle the national shortage of physiotherapists. Three years later, these students are graduating and successfully making their way into various physiotherapy roles throughout the country.

This summer, 24 students will graduate from the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy programme with jobs already secured at:

  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH)
  • City Health Care Partnerships (CHCP)
  • North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust (NLAG)
  • HealthShare
  • York and Scarborough NHS Trust
  • Flex Health as an internship
  • St. Gemma's Hospice in Leeds

This course has allowed these students to become competent practitioners with clinical skills and knowledge to assess, evaluate, formulate and implement treatment programmes in a diverse range of settings.

Being Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) approved and accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has allowed the students to grow and learn in a supportive and hands-on way.

University of Hull tackles national physiotherapy crisis

The University of Hull developed its degree course for physiotherapists in direct response to the ongoing need for healthcare professionals when thousands of people were needed to maintain key rehabilitation services in hospitals, medical centres and private practices across the country.

At the time, around 4,000 medical specialists were required, with the country facing a major shortage. A few years later, the University of Hull course is helping many pursue their dreams of becoming a physiotherapist, helping to boost the numbers of specialists in the UK.

Dr Clare Killingback, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy and Physiotherapy Programme Director in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull, said: “We are thrilled that so many of our graduates have already secured jobs in the local trusts. This is exactly why we started the course.

One of the values at the heart of our physiotherapy programme is to ensure that the graduates from our course will work in such a way that they put patients at the heart of their practice.

Dr Clare Killingback

"To realise these values, we have threaded this throughout the curriculum, especially in trying to help students develop their philosophy of physiotherapy practice and examine the extent to which it is person-centred. We have also made sure that service users and carers have been involved in teaching our students as they are the experts in so many ways.”

Marie Sterne, who is one of the service users involved in teaching the students, said:

“It has been exciting to help shape this course with first-hand patient experience and a privilege to spend time with the students, watching them develop into skilled, caring, practitioners.

Having a course that has person-centred care at its heart will be a huge asset to both patients and colleagues. I will be fascinated to see how our graduates' careers develop and wish them well.

Marie Sterne

Ahead of their graduation, many of the students have participated in a photography competition that showcases their learning around a person-centred practice. These submissions highlight what person-centred practice means to our students and were all celebrated at the launch of the competition on Thursday 25 May.

The winners are:

1st place: Liz Shirra: How do you drink yours?

‘Next time you pop the kettle on and enjoy a brew, allow yourself to appreciate the different elements of person-centred care,’ said Liz in her submission.

2nd place: David Burton: Knowing your person-centred onions

David describes person-centred care as having ‘many different layers, each one as important as the last’.

3rd place: Kerry Kirkwood: Keep me in the loop

Kerry likens patient-centred care to knitting; there is not just one type of stitch and way, it’s important to find your own way.

One of the judges of the photos for the competition, Kerry Foston said: “Thank you so much for letting me be involved in judging the wonderful photos and explanations. The students have certainly set the bar high. It was quite difficult to choose, and they are all winners in my eyes.

“I loved the thoughts behind the pictures and the kindness of the students I came across. I think they will have long, successful careers in front of them.”

The images will be showcased in the University Brynmor Jones Library from 7th July until 2nd October.

The exhibition, which is open to all, is being supported by a grant from the Ferens Education Trust and it will prove to be a real celebration of the students and their work over the last three years.

To learn more about the physiotherapy course offered by the University of Hull, or to see what it entails, read through the degree page here.

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