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Specialist Physiotherapist

Devon Partnership NHS Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 a year
Closing date
21 Jul 2024

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Band 6
Part Time
A SECONDMENT Opportunity until 31st March 2025 working 22.5 hours per week (0.6wte) has arisen at an exciting time of change within our learning disability service for an experienced and enthusiastic physiotherapist with diverse clinical skills based with the East Specialist Health Community Learning Disability Team.

The team provides a client focused community based service to adults with a learning disability and complex health needs which cannot be met by mainstream services.

This is a brilliant opportunity to diversify your skill set and gain experience in working with adults with a learning disability developing your knowledge of reasonable adjustments, hydrotherapy, postural management and specialist equipment. In service training and support provided.

As well as working with the East Specialist Health Community Learning Disability Team, you will be a part of the Devon wide specialist physiotherapy team. We are a Monday to Friday 9-5 service, with no on call demands. Flexible and hybrid working available.

We are looking for someone with excellent communication skills and experience in working with complex physical health needs. Experience of working with people with learning disabilities is desirable but not essential if you have the required transferrable skills.

Main duties of the job

You will have responsibility for a caseload and be required to work confidently with adults with complex postural and physical needs, completing thorough assessments and providing evidence based treatment programmes as well as training family and carers in 24 hour postural management. There will be opportunities to participate in hydrotherapy, postural management clinics and to work closely with senior physiotherapists, physiotherapy assistants and students.

About us

About Devon Partnership Trust

We provide mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity services, as well as a range of specialist & secure services for the wider south west region & nationally. We are passionate about promoting good mental health & wellbeing. We strive to use the expertise & resources within our organisation, and through our partnerships, to deliver high quality services that are safe & focused on people's recovery.

We are committed to developing a culture of coproduction, involving patients, families & carers in everything we do

Our values

We not only recruit based on qualifications & experience - we recruit individuals who possess & demonstrate the behaviours which underpin our Trusts core values. These include such attributes as showing a commitment to quality of care, improving lives of others, giving respect, dignity & compassion. We can bring those values to life in our everyday tasks by giving a smile making time for people challenging ourselves & others, & being open to new ideas.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer & applications are encouraged & welcomed from all sections of the community, regardless of any protected characteristics as governed by the Equality Act 2010. Part time & flexible working applications will be considered & supported, where possible. We particularly encourage applicants with lived experience of mental health conditions, neurodiversity or learning disabilities. We are a Disability Confident Leader.

Job description

Job responsibilities

As a physiotherapist in the East Specialist Health Community Learning Disability Team, the post holder will:

Provide specialist physiotherapy for adults with a learning disability where access to generic physiotherapy treatment is not appropriate for them.

Use Physiotherapy skills to treat complex musculoskeletal physical problems which often occur in combination with other cognitive and/or sensory disabilities

Improve mobility for people with physical disabilities through the assessment and provision of specialist equipment e.g. wheelchairs, postural support systems and other assistive technologies

Work closely with other multi-disciplinary team members, carers and services to enable community inclusion and promote independence through reducing reliance on paid support

Be an active member of the multi-disciplinary and physiotherapy team and contribute appropriately to all service requirements and developments

Ensure safe practice and adherence to Safeguarding policies and procedures

Duties and Responsibilities

Communication and Working Relationship Skills
  • Relay complex, sensitive information to people with learning disabilities and their carers with empathy and in a way that they can understand
  • Assess clients understanding of treatment proposals and their capacity to give informed consent and working within the legal framework when the client lacks capacity
  • Contribute to and lead (as agreed) team and Physiotherapy meetings and represent physiotherapy or IATT team at other relevant meetings when required
  • Build and maintain effective working relationships with team colleagues and with relevant community partners.
  • Keep electronic records according to Trust policy
  • Provide professional advice and consultancy to the team manager, multidisciplinary team members, carers and other services.
  • Use Total Communication practices to promote best possible communication with people with learning disabilities

Analytical and Judgemental Skills
  • Assess effectively clients with complex needs, analyse and interpret the assessment to plan appropriate treatment from a range of options
  • Show clinical reasoning in documentation
  • To contribute to the evaluation of your work and current practices through the use of audit and outcome measures.
  • Identify risk issues, which potentially could affect the patients/clients health or social care and report adverse signs to registered professionals
  • To provide support for student physiotherapists and less experienced physiotherapy staff, social, health and education staff as delegated by the physiotherapist.

Planning and Organisational Skills
  • Plan, prioritise and organise own workload as well as the workload of any staff supervised by the post holder, monitoring and adjusting activities and programmes as necessary.
  • Participate in the planning, leading and organisation of service development projects
  • Use effective time management skills to maximise productivity

Responsibility for Patient/Client Care, Treatment and Therapy
  • Assess, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate specialist physiotherapy programmes as part of an overall care plan
  • Apply specialist knowledge and skills to meet the needs of those with profound and complex needs
  • Contribute/lead relevant service user planning and review meetings
  • Plan and lead groups when this is deemed a suitable method of service delivery
  • Ensure all treatment records are completed according to Trust policy
  • Practice according to the standards set out by the Health Professions Council
  • Respond and contribute effectively and flexibly to occasional team emergencies and other urgent requests as directed by the Team Manager/Lead Physiotherapist

Responsibility for Policy and Service Development Implementation
  • Contribute/lead service improvement and development in community team, Physiotherapy service and wider LD Partnership, extending knowledge and skills of own practice.
  • Ensure own continuing professional development is on-going and relevant to the post and is recorded according to professional and local protocols
  • Keep up to date with essential training, supervision and annual appraisals in accordance with Trust policy
  • Participate/coordinate research and audit activity as a means of contributing to the advancement of practice
  • Contribute to the planning, organisation and maintenance and leadership of professional networks and interest groups to maintain and develop professional practice
  • Keep up to date on relevant government and local policy and guidance in relation to best practice for learning disability
  • Ensure all work is done in accordance with person-centred principles which promotes choice and empowerment
  • To avoid any behaviour which discriminates against your fellow employees or patients on the grounds of sex, marital status, race, age, colour, nationality, ethnic, or national origins, religion or disability.

Responsibility for Finance, Equipment and Other Resources
  • Be responsible for ordering and maintaining equipment and consumables, as an accredited prescriber
  • Ensure cost-effective management of any delegated finance duties
  • Report any health and safety issues to the Lead Physiotherapist

Responsibility for Human Resources, e.g. Supervision, Training, HR Advice and Management
  • Participate in supervision of own practice completing any agreed actions
  • Provide supervision and support to designated assistant staff
  • Ensure efficient management of time and resources
  • Participate in training of self and others as relevant to post

Responsibility for Information Resources and Administrative Duties
  • Ensure all records are up to date and compliant with the data protection act and Trust recording standards
  • Use all available IT applications to enhance the communication of treatment plans to users, care providers and carers

Responsibility for Research and Development
  • Assist in development of Team research initiatives
  • Be involved in a professional clinical group
  • Undertake audit and/or research projects for service and professional development on an annual basis

Freedom to Act
  • Work autonomously following protocols and codes of conduct and professional guidelines
  • Manages specialist caseload
  • Undertake one hour clinical supervision each month

Person Specification



  • Post qualification experience
  • Experience of working with people with communication difficulties Experience in managing a diverse workload


  • Previous community experience
  • Student supervision
  • Administration of standardised assessments
  • Experience of working with adults with learning disabilities

Knowledge and Skills


  • Clear understanding of the role of Physiotherapy within a multidisciplinary team
  • Knowledge of theories and methods of practice specific to people with learning disabilities
  • Sound knowledge and application of Physiotherapy Theory
  • An understanding of government policy with regard to services for people with learning disabilities
  • Group work skills
  • Ability to work autonomously, seeking guidance as necessary
  • Ability to be independently mobile across a geographical area
  • Ability to work effectively under rapid changing and demanding conditions with occasional interruptions


  • Use of total Communication
  • Multimedia/IT skills



  • Diploma/degree in Physiotherapy
  • Good standard of literacy and numeracy
  • Valid State registration with the Health Professions Council
  • Evidence of on-going training and development in the theory and practice of Physiotherapy


  • Further postgraduate training
  • short specialist courses

Employer details

Employer name

Devon Partnership NHS Trust


St Michaels

Orchard Way


EX14 1HU

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