Natalie Heighway - STW Training Hub MSK FCP Facilitator

Natalie has worked within the NHS as a physiotherapist for 7 years after Graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSc First Class Honours in Physiotherapy. Natalie has spent her career so far at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, beginning with rotations and then progressing within MSK outpatients.

Around 2 ½ years ago, Natalie and her colleague set up First Contact Physiotherapy within two North Shropshire GP practices. From this point the service has grown and is now offered within most Shropshire GP practices.

Natalie also works as an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist for The Shropshire Orthopaedic Outreach Service and spends her spare time doing sport such as Water skiing and Netball. Natalie is hoping to graduate from The University of Salford in August 2022, following completion of her Masters in Trauma and Orthopaedics.

Natalies role within the Training Hub as the FCP Facilitator is to continue to work to get FCP’s in every GP practice in our service and most importantly support the FCP’s within Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin. A big part of Natalie's role initially will be to facilitate FCP’s becoming part of the new Health Education England FCP register, along with supporting them to progress within their career.

Natalie aims to act as an ambassador for the FCP role, provide advice and plan delivery of supervision and CPD for all FCP’s in our service and support PCN’s recruiting FCP’s. Natalie wishes to set up STW FCP Forums, peer support network groups and network throughout our local area and beyond with Higher Education Institutes and other training hubs throughout the country.

Going forward, Natalie will look at liaising with PCNS and system partners to grow the role and work with the future FCP workforce to improve the progression from Physiotherapist to First Contact Physiotherapist .