Sarah Spencer Chapman


Leadership, business skills, working with others, empathy and knowledge of the profession:

I have life skills that have equipped me with managing in environments that are risky, edgy and entail thinking on your feet.  My background of ocean sailing where we were a team of three professionals with crew of up to 14, involved in sail training, teaching how to sail a gaff rigged boat which entails teamwork, leadership, problem solving and above all working together.

Two years at sea meant learning empathy and perspective, risk assessment and an understanding of the problems others and myself might have in often risky situations. For example, in a storm some were very sea sick and unable to take part in actively sailing the boat whilst others were fully capable and able.  When held at gunpoint we had to negotiate our way out of a very dangerous situation – diplomacy was key despite being terrified ourselves.

Being instrumental in the introduction of clinical tutors and academic tutors at Swansea University , attending and contributing both in clinic and academic seminars to gain an effective overview of a students’ progress.  Aiming to work together as a more cohesive team with transparency, honesty and standing by core values and beliefs.

Leading admissions, revising the interviewing process to ensure diversity and select and manage an efficient team.  We recruited 40 students when I took over, an increase of 50% and 38 successfully graduated.

In my current practice I regularly have discussions with my associate and administrative colleague about how we are managing both the business and our selves.  My associate is a new graduate who I mentor and who mentors me. In addition we have discussions with a fellow psychotherapist.

As a team we are offering a week of work experience twice a year (COVID aside) to Hereford and Ludlow College students who spend time shadowing us and gain an insight into how we work as an Osteopathic practice.  This is our way of giving back to the local community.

I am an active member of Chamber of Commerce and Hereford Means Business, and a fellow of the RSA, which meets monthly to discuss local projects and business initiatives.

We are in the process of developing courses which we aim to deliver next year to widen the understanding of community health care.

Supporting statement:

I have a passion for my role as an Osteopath, both as a practitioner and to continue to promote and support the profession.

It was with immense pride that I graduated in 2000 with the John Brown Memorable prize that I set off on my journey to further my experience as a diagnostic practitioner with one aim in mind.  That was to return to Kenya as a Humanitarian Osteopath to give back to the two men who sadly perished in an accident off the coast of Kenya in 1980.

I achieved this goal in 2007 working in Kibera as part of a multidisciplinary team of 22 medics.  As a team we managed to see 2,000 patients in 3 weeks.  This was due to various components, mainly working as a joined-up team utilizing the various skills we all had, continuous risk assessment and communication with local officials in Kibera.

I worked in Derriford Hospital as a physio assistant while studying osteopathy, to gain experience in a hospital setting and requested to be placed in as many departments as possible.  I was on 3 month rotation covering various wards which provided me with invaluable experience on so many fronts.

Also I studied dissection at Bristol Medical School. In addition I worked as a medical representative for Innovex.  I gained experience in learning communication with entry to GP practices, sales techniques and the medications my patients might be prescribed.

Following graduating in osteopathy I went on to study Acupuncture and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) both in the States and London with Tony Robbins and Richard Bandler. I completed the training for Leadership (Life Mastery) with Tony Robbins in 2011.

Working in Harley Street I went with the intention of placing myself amongst the best of their profession in order to extend my experience and grow as a practitioner. That resulted in my working with the Diagnostic Clinic as a specialist in Gait Assessment, practitioners with whom I am still in touch today.

Everything I do entails risk assessment, thought, self-awareness, honesty and integrity, and transparency.  You cannot achieve greatness alone – it takes collaboration and team work, dedication and vision.

It is my belief that we as osteopaths, as allied health professionals will play an important role in the new arena of health care that is presenting itself right now.  When I graduated in 2000 there were some 3,000 osteopaths, now there are just over 5,000 registered.  What has happened to the rest?  We should be a rapidly growing profession and I would love to be part of the iO team who look into how we can gain entry and partner with the NHS, and other health care providers.  We deserve to be recognized as the health care professionals we are.

We have principles and beliefs that make us exceptional diagnostic practitioners who have a real need to collaborate and be part of the wider part of health care in this country.

It is the model that we live by that makes us different and gives us the tools to become integrated, which historically we have never quite achieved.  I am mindful that I have a lot to learn in being part of the iO team and look upon this with excitement and passion.


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