The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Ally Whelan, Highly Specialist Physiotherapist

Ally Whelan cropWhat’s your role?

I am a specialist Physiotherapist working in the team and have been doing so for the last 3 and a half years. I have worked in Neurology for nearly 15 years, previously working in the community supporting people who had just been discharged from hospital and a large part of my role is working with MND patients at home, where it is most beneficial to them.

What part of the care jigsaw do you provide for MND patients?

Physiotherapy is an integral part of the care team. We are involved often from the point of diagnosis. We look at mobility and balance issues, provide walking aids and practical advice regarding moving about the home/ community. In later stages we get involved with family/carers regarding positioning/stretches where required.

We are lucky in Leeds that we have an excellent working relationship with our Orthotics team and they allow us to provide an essential service to our MND patients, including providing ankle splints to correct foot drop to prevent falls, and also collars to support patients that are unable to hold their head up against gravity.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I feel it is a real privilege to be involved in these patients’ lives and their journey with MND. We get to know our patients and their families very well. I have a real sense of pride that I can help my patients live the best life they can.

What do enjoy outside of work?

I have 2 young children and I am a keen runner, and have just bought a new mountain bike which i plan to take out as often as i can!

Is there a highlight moment in your time here?

I love our big MDT clinics. They are busy and at times a bit crazy, but i love that the whole team comes together to help solve our patients’ problems. There is a great sense of teamwork and camaraderie that i really enjoy.