Five Minutes With...Vicky Chapman of Chapman Physiotherapy
Vicky Chapman is a wimp. She’s more than happy to give out a little pain when it’s deemed necessary but she’s not too enthused to receive it.
So a fall from an ex-racehorse last week that has left her struggling to lift her right arm was not particularly welcome. Especially at a time when all hands are on deck post lockdown and she has a full caseload, so there’s no chance of any treatment for herself.
2020 has been a challenge to Chapman Physiotherapy like no other. Buoyed by the furlough scheme, they decided that they could not deem themselves an essential service and closed the practice days before it became compulsory.
Their NHS first contact assessment service continued over the telephone and Vicky managed it herself throughout lockdown. It was an interesting time, patients were so grateful for any assistance; and for some, it was clear that loneliness was a major factor too. The Bawtry Retail Association shared their services across social media and ensured that they were not forgotten.
However the practice had grown significantly over the last three years, opening two bespoke settings, 154 Thorne Road, Doncaster and also a satellite in Bawtry, above Weldricks pharmacy. The practice prides itself in having a ‘hands-on’ ethos, provided by a motivated team of 13 physios. They have many surgeons consult from their rooms and complement their services with podiatry, personal training and psychotherapy. There are now plans for further growth, as opportunities often present themselves at the most testing of times.
Vicky is not ashamed to say that five months ago she honestly didn’t know whether the practice would survive the Covid devastation. With the value of hindsight, private physio has been a vital service for those struggling to access NHS services or facing long waiting lists as physiotherapists were re-deployed. Working from home, usually without a plan; navigating home schooling, video conference calls and trying to maintain a ‘normal’ family life has pushed a few usually more exclusive conditions into the spotlight. Shoulder pain referring down into the hand? Yes please. Ulnar nerve causing pins and needles at night? Absolutely. Anterior knee pain from your new found love of running downhill? We’ll have two of those please. In essence, it’s been refreshing to see some alternative conditions taking the limelight. Who says physios are sadistic?
But if you’re wondering who is the person to guide you back into exercise, Chapman Physiotherapy have the skill set to get you started. With the initiatives to improve the health of the nation, their physios can assist you to start exercise confidently and safely, and they are well supported by Lloyd Hayes, their resident personal trainer. He puts into action a knowledge base enhanced by his years in professional rugby; most recently at Doncaster Knights. Those who follow the local team will know that Vicky has a long association with Castle Park, having first set up as a private physio from the rugby ground. She is still a keen supporter and is now frequently found sipping a Guinness whilst cheering the Knights.
The future is bright for Chapman Physiotherapy. They have brought all staff back off furlough and are very busy. The PPE is an unwelcome essential and all patients are pre-screened upon booking. They are scrupulous with their cleaning and patients are asked to wait in their car until the time of their appointment. The glossy magazines may have gone but the attention to detail has magnified. The reality is they just want their patients to feel safe. Vicky said: “The support I have had from Doncaster has been unfaltering over the years. Who knew 2020 would be our ‘lucky 13’ but the challenges it has brought identify opportunities to become tighter as a team. I honestly love physiotherapy and the patients I meet now, as much as I did 20 years ago. Some have dipped in and out of our services for over a decade and it’s great to share their journey. Not many people are fortunate enough to enjoy their work.” In her home life though, Vicky has gone full circle, meeting a Yorkshire farmer and setting up home with him and his two children who live with them. Growing up on a South Lincolnshire pig farm has meant she’s not shy of getting her hands dirty. Partial to a gin and tonic, (Brittains strawberry is a favourite), she’s a keen gardener, cook and loves a party. “Lockdown forced us to re-evaluate the important things in life. We started milling our own flour, foraging wild garlic to make pesto and producing our own sausages.”
It’s time to get back on track though. Chapman Physiotherapy is raring to go again. They have appointments available at just £35. What are you waiting for?