Charlie Akiens

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) framework is relatively new formation that has been established as a key part of the NHS long-term health plan. Since their establishment the PCNS have aided greater provision of proactive, personalised and integrated health and social care for patients. PICS play a fundamental role in supporting our PCNs, for example by co-designing services and roles, then delivering them on behalf of the PCNs with HR and Finance support, through to hiring, supervising and developing the workforce.

PICS role in supporting PCNs can be seen on the ground through case studies such as Charlie Akiens. Charlie is currently a First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP) for Byron Primary Care Network. This is a role that is predominantly based in GP surgeries offering quick and easy access physiotherapy to patients suffering musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, such as ligament sprain, tendonitis and rotator cuff tendonitis.

This is a relatively new position for GP surgeries to have as part of their Primary Care Network, which has received rave reviews from patients due to quick and easy access to physiotherapy and onward referrals. The introduction of this service has proven beneficial to the healthcare industry overall as it has helped lessen the burden on GP practices, while offering quicker and high quality service. FCPs are mainly Extended Scope Physiotherapists (ESP) who are advanced physiotherapists with many years of experience.

Charlie has gained vast know-how through a strong educational foundation in Physiotherapy and is a holder of three degrees, and winner of the prestigious Wallace Award at Nottingham University for clinical excellence in the MSC Sports Medicine degree program. Additionally, Charlie has gained expertise in the field through certifications as sports masseuse and acupuncturist; qualification in injection therapy; being a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) accredited Educator and as an advanced trauma first aider.

PICS` Business Development Manager Stephen Andersen said, “Charlie was the very first First Contact Physiotherapist in Nottinghamshire, and has settled in really well within the practices of Byron and PC, her experience and enthusiasm has really established FCPs in the region.”

Outside of the classroom Charlie has excelled through various positions she has held, with her most recent experience working at Basketball England, where she provided sports first aid and physiotherapy for players domestically and abroad. Further involvement has seen her apply her skills at Stanford Hall Defence Military rehabilitation centre, with Swim England and prestigious the Loughborough University as a physio providing pitch side support during student games.

Charlie has built on her practical experience through business interests which saw her establishing the UK`s first ever mobile Physiotherapy Clinic, as well through various consultancies with British Athletics, The Birmingham Bulls, rugby, volley ball, hockey and football teams, as well as the developmental football teams in Women’s Welsh football.

Separate from her work Charlie has trained as a scuba diver and is an experienced mountain climber, having conquered Mt Kilimanjaro and Machu Pichu. The journey has been a challenging yet fruitful one, but one in which Charlie describes, “…the work is extremely rewarding, the best part is being able to help patients.”