Meet Clare Silvester, our new Clinical Lead at Ultra Sports Bank Clinic
We sat down for a super inspiring chat with our new Clinical Lead, Clare.
In addition to being Clinical Lead at Ultra Sports in King William Street, you also work part-time as Head Physiotherapist at Charlton Park Rugby Club.
That must be a dynamic environment to work in. Can you tell us about your most exciting moments and any particular challenges you’ve faced when a player has been injured?
I love working in rugby, as you say it’s a really dynamic and exciting environment and I really do feel like one of the team, celebrating their wins and feeling just as gutted as they do when they lose. I've been lucky enough to be the team physio when they've come top of their league and been promoted and it's a great experience. One of the main challenges in my role is occasionally having to disappoint players, coaches and the rest of the team by stopping them playing if they are unfit or it would be unsafe to do so. As difficult as this can be player welfare obviously has to be at the top of my priorities.
You started your career at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. They lead the way in terms of research and treatment.
What are some of the most important things that you learnt from that experience?
My time at Guy's & St Thomas' has been completely invaluable to my career as a physiotherapist. I had the opportunity to work alongside some of the top specialists in the country and took every chance I could to enhance my own knowledge and abilities under their guidance. During my 6 years at the Trust I rotated around a wide range of departments and the transferable skills I gained are still with me to this day.
You used to be a lecturer in physiotherapy at King’s College London. What were some of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching?
I found it hugely rewarding playing a role in inspiring the new generation of physiotherapists. Seeing their enthusiasm for their future careers, watching them develop and knowing that I was in the position to help and guide them towards their goals was a great experience.
We heard that the science of sleep is something you’re particularly interested in. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Sleep is something that absolutely fascinates me, and it plays a role in almost every facet of our health and wellbeing. In this sense poor quality sleep or not enough of it can be detrimental to patients trying to recover from injury or trying to prevent future injuries, so it is always something I try to discuss and advise on with my patients.
In addition to the physical aspects of physiotherapy, you also consider the psychological needs of your patients. How important is it to you to take this holistic approach?
Taking patients' beliefs, fears and any potential barriers into account when planning a recovery programme is essential. I strive to take a holistic approach with every patient I see. This may consist of educating and reassuring patients who are fearful or uncertain about their injury or recovery or taking steps to overcome home or work-life barriers together in order to achieve the best possible outcome for them.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you’re a trained level 3 Pilates instructor and you’re also qualified in acupuncture and dry needling.
Are there any other skills and talents that you haven’t told us about, or any that you still want to cultivate?
Before I moved into the private world I was working as an injecting clinician in the NHS, delivering corticosteroid and hyaluronic injections to patients with joint or soft tissue pathologies alongside my normal physiotherapy duties. Within the next 2 years I would like to complete my diagnostic ultrasound qualification to enable me to scan and diagnose patients in clinic and also to deliver ultrasound guided injections. I would also like to qualify as in independent prescriber which would mean I could prescribe and advise patients on painkillers and anti-inflammatories to benefit them in the early stages of injury recovery.
Helping your patients recover from their injuries is obviously a very satisfying experience for you, but what else makes you happy, outside of working hours?
I am very family orientated and enjoy spending a lot of time with my family as well as close friends. I love scuba-diving and trying to pick up new skills when I can find the time. My two latest attempts were at playing the piano and paddle boarding! I also love good food, both cooking and visiting new restaurants.
Thanks Clare, it’s great to have you leading our team!