Steph Cliffe

Steph Cliffe

Introduction to Steph:

Steph works as a Musculoskeletal Advanced Practice Physiotherapist in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in a newly integrated musculoskeletal service. I qualified in 2008 from Keele University. I have worked as a physiotherapist in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent since 2008, predominantly involving musculoskeletal and rheumatology caseloads. My current role involves specialist triage and assessment of patients with MSK conditions, but also works one clinic per week within a dedicated multi-disciplinary Axial SpA clinic.

Why Steph wants to be a NASS champion:

Steph has a particular interest in Axial SpA (including Ankylosing Spondylitis or AxSpA / AS) due to the nature of her role and feels that the current 8.5 years to diagnostic delay is not acceptable in this day in age. Steph feels that the programme would be an amazing way of trying to make a difference and to change the lives of people with Axial SpA for the better. It is also a fantastic opportunity for her personal development as well, from a project management and quality improvement perspective.


What Steph hopes to achieve from the programme:

“I hope to make a difference to the diagnostic delay problem people with Axial SpA face, both locally and nationally. I hope to be part of a network of clinicians with similar values to make a genuine change to educate both health care professionals and the general public, raise awareness of the condition and implement ways of improving the patient journey from onset of symptoms to diagnosis.”

Symptoms starting slowly

Pain in the lower back

Improves with movement

Night time waking

Early onset (under 40)