Last updated: 31 August 2023

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Physiotherapist's help people improve their mobility and regain their independence after an injury or operation, or as a result of ageing or a disability. As a physiotherapist, you’ll focus on identifying and maximising movement to improve the health and well being of your patients.


A day in the life

Your role is vital in treating a variety of conditions such as:

  • neurological (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's).
  • neuromusculoskeletal (back pain, whiplash associated disorder, sports injuries, arthritis).
  • cardiovascular (chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack).
  • respiratory (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis).


You’ll work with people on a daily basis, recommending exercise, carrying out massage, and using high-tech ultrasound equipment or even hydrotherapy pools, depending on your patients’ needs.

Once a patients' movement problem has been diagnosed, you'll work with them to determine a treatment plan. You'll also promote good health and advise people on how to avoid injury.




Your development

Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) check-ins, where well discuss your career aspirations and plan how we can help you to achieve them, so you’re always moving forward. You’ll also be encouraged to join the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy where you’ll be able to continually update your skills and training.

As a physiotherapist, you could specialise in a particular area such as sports injuries, critical care, or work with the elderly, children or cancer patients. Teaching, research and management roles are other options.

Outside the NHS, you could work with sports coaches or personal trainers, be based in a clinic or open your own practice.


For more information regarding joining our team, please submit a form through the ‘Contact us’ page or contact the Recruitment team, who are more than happy to help, on 02392 2860​​​​​​​00 ext. 6577 or email 




My story

Kathleen Tollerfield

Frailty Physiotherapist 


What made you become a physiotherapist? - I have always had an interest in healthcare and wellbeing. When I was younger, I completed work experience days with different health professionals. What drew me toward physiotherapy was that it provided lots of hands-on treatment and appeared to be a rewarding career. I confirmed my passion for physiotherapy after being an assistant for 2 years with the pulmonary rehabilitation team in Portsmouth providing advice and treatment to COPD patients. 

How did you become a physiotherapist?  - To become a qualified physiotherapist, I completed a course at Southampton University. As soon as I was qualified, I spent two years as a band 5 rotational physiotherapist at PHU, which allowed me to work in different areas within the hospital ranging from very unwell patients in intensive care to people with musculoskeletal injuries/conditions in the outpatient environment. From my experience in rotations I have decided to specialise in frailty, as this area has interested me the most .  

What do you do on a day to day basis? - A physiotherapist on the ward will provide assessment, treatment/rehabilitation, education/advice and discharge planning to facilitate a patient recovery from an acute illness. No patient or day is the same, so we need to adapt our skills to provide the best care.  It is really rewarding to see patients take their first steps again after being so unwell. For some patients we have to provide chest physiotherapy which involves clearance of sputum to improve their respiratory health.  

Why did you choose PHU? - I completed student placements at PHU, and I found the physiotherapy teams all very welcoming and supportive in developing my skills which made me want to join the trust when I was qualified.  I also chose to work in PHU as they offered a wide range of 6 month rotations including orthopaedics, critical care, medicine, neuro, outpatients and community roles. Having the opportunity of rotations has allowed me to develop a broad base of experience in different specialities.  The 6 months rotations provided the right amount of time to develop and apply new skills learnt. Some other NHS trusts only provide 4 months rotations which I felt only allowed a snap shot and not enough time to put new skills into practice.  

What do you enjoy about being a physiotherapist? - As physiotherapist we are not there to simply provide care and have patients depend on us. We enable to get them stronger by giving them the tools, education and guidance they need to meet their goals. I enjoy playing a key role in enabling patients to improve their health and quality of life. It is a very satisfying job.  

Career plans and advice for others - I plan to develop my skills further while specialising in frailty. I am excited to work within my new role and experience treating frailty patients in the community, rehabilitation and acute wards. I would recommend a career in physiotherapy as it's amazing and rewarding. I would always recommend completing rotations after qualifying to ensure you experience different areas of physiotherapy before specialising. I look forward to continuing my career with PHU, and the challenges , opportunities and experiences it will bring