Justin Strain

Job Title

Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist (Pain Management and Spines); South West Hampshire Pain Management Service Lead.

Where are you based?

Community Hospital.

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


When you were at school, did you want to join the NHS?


What qualifications did you have when you joined the NHS?

Degree in Physiotherapy.

How did you come to work in the NHS?

After I left school, I completed a first degree and then went into the Royal Navy. I stayed in the Navy until I was thirty, but by that time I was looking for a change and thinking about a career in Health. A Physiotherapist friend of mine invited me to do some work experience with her and I found it fascinating.  I was particularly attracted by the different specialisms on offer.  When I left the Navy, I went to the University of Southampton to study Physiotherapy and later joined the NHS.

Briefly explain your job

I work in a clinical role as a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in pain management.  I work as part of a team of different health professional (Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists), supporting people with long-term ongoing pain conditions to manage their pain as well as they can.  I also work in an Orthopaedic Spinal clinic, providing specialist assessment, support and advice about spinal conditions.  As well as my clinical role, I am the service lead for the pain management service and provide teaching to Physiotherapists and other health professionals about pain management

What do you love about your job?

I love working with people and the personal interaction side of the job.  I also enjoy the wide variety of roles that the job involves – for instance being involved in leadership, research and education, alongside my clinical role.

Which colleagues support you in your role?

My clinical colleagues all support me in my role – we regularly meet to share ideas and draw on each others’ clinical expertise.  I’m also well supported by my line-manager who encourages me to broaden my experience and get involved in different projects.  Within the research world.

Is there career progression in your role and how would you get there?

There is plenty of scope for career progression within my role.  I took an Masters degree alongside working which helped to get me to my current job, and I am hoping that my research work will eventually lead to a Doctorate qualification.

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

It is a rewarding environment to work in, despite the resource pressures.  There are many interesting and varied career paths available and it is very much up to you which pathway you choose.  Above all, it is a working environment where people matter most.

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