Mission to create change
Children's physio Andrea Selley has decide to leave a 25 year career in the NHS to spread the message about F words.
Andrea, of Kirkham, is determined to improve services for disabled children and has already been presenting in schools and universities to increase understanding and educate professionals, as well as parents.
The F words are a simple and fun way – developed by two professors in Canada – of understanding the World Health Organisation’s model of disability.
The F words are fun, friends, function, family, fitness and future.
Andrea has set up an online learning community for professionals working with disabled children.
Her company Synergy Now aims to inspire and help professionals working in the field of childhood disability to learn and to question.
She hopes to help workers feel confident in engaging with and understanding the latest research.
Mum-of-twin boys Andrea says her ultimate goal is to help staff be in a position where they can provide the best possible service in the environment they work in.
Andrea, 46, said: “I am passionate about helping professionals to provide great evidence-based care for children and families.
“I have to admit, I am a bit of a geek.
“I have an MSc in health practice and I read academic papers for fun. But I am also a real frontline clinician, with 25 years experience as an NHS physiotherapist.
“While running Synergy Now, I am continuing to keep my feet on the ground with regular bank work with a local NHS Trust.
“By 2014, I was a manager in a large NHS organisation.
“But I found I was frustrated at having to spend much of my time managing data and trying to find ways to make cost savings.
“I felt unable to support and develop my staff in the way I wanted to.”
“It was with considerable sadness I left the NHS.”
“But I feel working in management enabled me to see the bigger picture.
“I could see where I might be able to make a difference and where I wanted to make a difference.
“I needed that freedom of working outside of an organisation to allow me to do that.
“My vision is to improve services for disabled children through training and innovation.
“One of the biggest things is communication.
“I am also working with a start-up technology company, on the idea of an IT solution, to help with communication with parents, hospitals and schools.
“By working with parents and with effective communication, we can make a big difference ultimately for the child, for their care and their well-being.
“I also publish a weekly blog post on my website, sharing helpful content for professionals, including technical how-tos, news updates, research explainers, and stories.
“It’s something I feel really passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work.
“I love working with children, and I have always wanted to work in health and help people.
“I love communication and connecting.
“For me, it’s so great to see somebody achieving, particularly children, to see a change in them or see them enjoy life.
“It’s really rewarding.
“When you get positive feedback, you get a lot of satisfaction.”
• For more information, visit www.synergy-now.com