Suzanne Willacy, Clinical Lead for Women’s Health Physiotherapy at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), leads a Team of Women’s Health Physiotherapists who help, advise, treat and support women throughout all their life stages.
She helps women and their partners during and after pregnancy by improving the woman’s physical fitness and helping them understand the changes of their bodies during pregnancy, with vital exercises and advice, including abdominal muscle and core stability exercise. She helps after the birth of their babies by giving advice and exercises to help the woman return to normal and prevent future health problems.
Suzanne also helps women who are suffering from bladder and bowel incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction, women who have had gynaecological and breast surgeries and women who have had musculoskeletal conditions during and after their pregnancy.
Suzanne is one of the Trust’s 401 Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), and has worked at UHMBT for the past 31 years.
Allied health professions cover a broad range of careers and AHPs work directly with patients, improving the care they receive and have a direct impact on their lives. At the Trust AHP roles include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dieticians, radiographers and orthoptists.
The first National Allied Health Professionals Day will be held on Monday 15 October 2018, where AHPs will be coming together at the HCC Development Centre in Stevenage to celebrate their professions and the contribution they make to delivering high quality health and social care.
Suzanne said: “Patients are one of the most important parts of my job and are at the centre of everything I do. I also enjoy the clinical aspect of my role and feel a real privilege to be working helping with women at all stages of their lives.
“Throughout my professional career I have never lost that clinical curiosity, continuing on my path of lifelong learning and passing on of skills and knowledge to others to benefit the people we care for daily. Always striving for excellence, to be the best we can be for our patients and their families/carers.”
Suzanne graduated as a physiotherapist in 1987 and from 1989 onwards worked closely with colleagues from the Women’s Health and Paediatric multi-disciplinary teams, to develop and expand the service, establishing ‘Aquacise’ and other ante and postnatal exercise sessions, antenatal parent education sessions and the Women’s Health physiotherapy service for inpatients and outpatients for obstetrics, gynaecology, continence and breast surgery patients and acute paediatrics/Neonatal Unit.
She also sits on the National Executive Committee for the Association of Continence Advice, has liaised with NHS England and the NMC and was one of the judges of the Continence Promotion and Care Award at the Nursing Times awards in both 2017 and 2018.
Suzanne was nominated by patients for three consecutive years for the UHMBT ‘Health Heroes Awards’ in the ‘AHP of the Year’ category.