Inspirational Story

Martin Welton

Who am I? Martin Welton

What is my profession? Physiotherapist

What do I do? Operational line management of a team of Community Specialist Nurses

Pronouns: He/Him


What did you study before choosing to become a physiotherapist?

At A-level I studied P.E, Geography and Psychology. I wanted to do be a physiotherapist from about 14 years old and it was suggested that I might not get in and to probably focus on something else.

My A-level choices show my broad choice. It wasn’t until applying for university that I found that one university would accept P.E instead of Biology and I might have a chance.

I came from a working class background and I attended a state comprehensive school in a northern town.


What influenced your choice of profession?

It has to be my love of sport. Seeing physiotherapists run onto pitches was really inspiring and my own experience of physiotherapy treatment. I was also conscious of the option of starting a career straight after university with really good job prospects.

What were your thoughts before and after studying physiotherapy?

I knew that NHS work was likely after qualification but I didn’t understand the importance of rotational work, working in lots of areas to really understand the profession. I worked in some areas that I didn’t enjoy, but I still learned a lot from them.

Were you aware of other health professionals before choosing physiotherapy?

I was aware of radiography, psychology and podiatry, with podiatry being my second choice if I had not got into a physiotherapy course. Physiotherapy was always my first choice because of my love of sport.

I was really clear that I wanted to study something at University that would lead to a career and job at the end of it – something that Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Radiography allowed.


I want to extend the scope of what physiotherapists can do from a leadership perspective

Did you have any lightbulb moments while studying or since you have been working?

I quickly realised that sports related physiotherapy is a tiny niche within the profession and actually not at all what I wanted to do. Older people rehabilitation and community working is what I enjoy.

I’m now focused on leadership in the NHS and expanding the roles of what physiotherapists can do as leaders by taking on non-traditional roles. There are over 20 roles within the NHS for physiotherapists (probably more!)


What does your current role looks like day to day?

Rather than working in a clinical physiotherapy role, I now work as an Operational line manager of a team of Community Specialist Nurses. This is a non-clinical, leadership and management role and something that isn’t traditional for physiotherapists to do.

My role involves supporting staff, making the services as good as they can be and so that we provide the best care to patients as possible. I attend lots of meetings to try and influence and advocate for the nursing teams.


How did you come to become in the position you are in now?

Lots of rotational experience, before specialising in community rehabilitation. I had a taste of leadership in that team and then became a ward manager within community services but within an acute hospital.

After that I decided to broaden my leadership experience with the specialist nurses. I want to extend the scope of what physiotherapists can do from a leadership perspective.

To continue my career journey and development, I am now looking  further study options in NHS leadership.

Want to know more?

Interested in finding out more about the role of a Physiotherapist? Want to find out where Physiotherapists work and what they do day to day? Keep reading to find out more.

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