A photo of Desi Gillespie, First Contact Practitioner / AHP Ambassador
Written by Desi Gillespie, 15/12/2023 

What are your roles outside the ARRS Ambassador position? 

First Contact Physiotherapist – Nottingham West PCN. 
Occupational Therapy Clinical Lead – Mid and South Nottinghamshire. 
Sports Specialist Physiotherapist – Multiple sports including Netball and American Football – including pitch side management. 

Why did you want to take on the role of ARRS Ambassador? How will you be a good advocate for your role? 

I am passionate about ensuring all clinicians can work to their best and be able to deliver the best care to the community. I believe the first-hand experience I have as a First Contact Physio, alongside the challenges I have addressed growing a FCP Mental Health OT team will allow me to support all FCP Allied Health Professionals across Nottinghamshire. I like to be innovative, be bold and try new things to promote these fantastic roles. 

What are the top three things you would like to achieve as part of the ARRS Ambassadors team? 

I would like to come up with new ways of promoting the ARRS roles.  
Ensure all clinicians are able to utilise their specialist skills and work to their full skill set.  
I want to make sure all AHP ARRS clinicians feel they have someone to turn to for support in their role. 

What are your initial aims and plans to connect your role peers across the whole of Nottingham and Notts to develop a community of practice? How can they get in touch to join this network? 

The initial aim is to educate myself on what the clinicians want, how they want to connect and what support they may need to aid development. I will aim to set up WhatsApp groups, publicise the ability to meet and discuss with an AHP ambassador to address any challenges. From the Training Needs Analysis (TNA), I want to address learning needs in a variety of formats to be able to target more audiences depending on peoples learning styles and constraints. 

How would you like to engage and collaborate with PCN/Practice management teams to support the ARRS workforce? 

I want to learn from the stakeholders - what they would like, using a survey or open with an email on ways we have supported PCNs previously.  
Discuss challenges they have faced, provide templates for job roles, promotion, inductions, supervision and education support.  
Provide a contact and space for the stakeholders to speak with the relevant person to express and provide support to their concerns or challenges. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I compete at an international level in Strongwoman, moving cars and lifting stones. I also like to spend time walking my dog and drinking coffee. 

Favourite holiday destination you would recommend? 

Snowboarding in the Austrian Alps. 

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you choose and why? 

I would like to be a duck, so I could walk, fly and swim in the same day. 

Any recent films or TV shows you have watched that you would recommend? 

Gossip Girl – Blake Lively era. 

What are you looking forward to most over the next six months of the project? 

I am looking forward to the unknown, seeing new things come to life with innovation. Being able to challenge myself and the team to push the boundaries. 

Learn more about Desi, her workstreams and NATH... 

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