Spotlight on our Lead Physiotherapist Sally Wheater

Sally Wheater

Sally Wheater is our Lead Physiotherapist and has played a primary role in developing our new Day Therapy Service.

Sally has been a physiotherapist for almost 10 years and has worked in community respiratory services for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and acute respiratory care at Doncaster Royal Infirmary; she joined our St John’s Hospice team in September 2023.

Sally said: “Throughout my career, I’ve always had lots of contact with patients with palliative conditions, which has made me very passionate about their care and my goal has always been to work in a hospice environment.”

Sally has used her extensive knowledge and experience in developing the Day Therapy Service, which aims to support patients to live well with their conditions and remain as active as their symptoms allow.

Sally added: “We’re developing our services around the needs of our patients and will be offering support in self-managing a variety of symptoms, along with gentle exercise.

“We’ll aim to support patients so they can perform daily activities independently and have a sense of control over their lives, while continuing their important life roles and usual routines.”

Sessions, which can be full or half-day depending on patient choice, will run from Tuesday to Friday in the Hospice’s Day Therapy Unit, and patients will be encouraged to set goals for what they wish to achieve from their weekly sessions, which will run for 12 weeks.

Sally said: “People living with palliative conditions can be sometimes feel isolated, so these sessions offer an opportunity for peer support, drawing on shared personal experience to provide knowledge, social interaction, emotional assistance, or practical help, often in a way that’s mutually beneficial.

“We’re also providing education sessions, creative activities, complementary therapy and hairdressing to stimulate and soothe our patients while they are here, and we’ll be relying on their feedback to continually develop the care we provide.”

Reflecting on joining the St John’s Hospice team, Sally said: “The team here are dedicated to providing patient-centred care, it’s such a warm, welcoming place.

“I’m really excited to be working with everyone to develop this new service and hope that we’ll be able to make a difference to local patients and help manage their condition as early as possible after their diagnosis.”