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    About Nuffield Health Physiotherapy

  • What is physiotherapy?

    Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness, or disability. It is a science-based profession which often takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

    Physiotherapy can help with issues like back pain, sudden injury or managing long-term conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Physiotherapy can also assist in preparing and/or recovering from events like childbirth, surgery, or sporting activity.

    Following personalised assessment, physiotherapists help people through movement and exercise, advice, education, and often utilise treatments like manual therapy. Patient involvement in their own care is often a key part of physiotherapy. This is commonly facilitated by promoting awareness and empowerment.

    If necessary, your physiotherapist may recommend you’re seen by other specialists, for example orthopaedic surgeons, pain specialists or rheumatologists.

  • Is physiotherapy a massage?

    Physiotherapy is much more than massage. Physiotherapy care can include treatments like manual therapy (moving your joints), soft tissue mobilisation (such as massage), acupuncture, electrotherapy (for example ultrasound) and taping.

    However, in contemporary physiotherapy such treatments should be seen as adjuncts that support evidence-based management strategies like education, behaviour change facilitation, exercise prescription and coaching.

  • What types of problem can physiotherapy help?

    Physiotherapy can be used to help manage an array of health conditions that affect many of the body's systems. Most often these relate to problems with bones, nerves, joints and soft tissues. A few examples of these include:

    • Back and neck pain
    • Joint related pain
    • Sports injuries
    • Injury resulting from accidents
    • Muscle and tendon related or injury
    • Rehabilitation after surgery.
  • What does physiotherapy involve?

    Your physiotherapist will begin with a full assessment and physical examination to establish the cause and nature of your condition.

    After this, the physiotherapist will look at the results and consider your past medical history to determine, in conjunction with your expectations, what treatment is most fitting for your needs and create a personalised treatment plan. Treatment strategies will often be aimed at facilitating your meaningful functional activities and can also provide you with tools that prevent or reduce the issues from impacting you in the future.

  • How effective is physiotherapy?

    In the vast majority of cases, physiotherapy is considered effective for appropriate conditions. Physiotherapy can also play a role in the prevention of further injury.

  • Can you have physiotherapy when pregnant?

    Yes, you're welcome to physiotherapy at any time during your pregnancy. If you're attending due to a pregnancy-related issue, it would be worth mentioning this at the time of your booking so that a specialist physiotherapist can be booked, if available.

  • Why choose a Nuffield Health physiotherapist?

    Our patients tell us that they come to Nuffield Health for physiotherapy as they want to be able to choose the location and timing of the appointment and know that they're being treated with the best approach to get better.

    Nuffield Health is the largest provider of physiotherapy services outside of the NHS. We have an extensive network of physiotherapists across the UK, meaning appointments are readily available so you won't have to wait.

    All Nuffield Health physiotherapists are Chartered Physiotherapists and are highly skilled, trained and registered to practice. We invest in developing our physiotherapists, who all practice to our agreed best care protocols, so you know the treatment you get is the right approach to maximise your recovery. Plus, all treatment plans and sessions are monitored so that each physiotherapist can assure you of the quality care they offer.

  • How much does physiotherapy cost?

    An initial assessment appointment lasts up to 45 minutes & is therefore priced higher than the follow up appointments which last up to 30 minutes.

    If you are a Nuffield Health member then you could qualify for discounted pricing.

    The pricing for our specialist physiotherapy appointments may vary, for example with our pelvic health specialist physiotherapists.

  • About your first session

  • What happens during my first session?

    The first session is primarily an assessment aimed at learning about you and the situation that has brought you to physiotherapy. It's usually split into the subjective assessment (a verbal interview) and the objective assessment (a physical examination).

    Your physiotherapist will also ask about your medical history to check if your current condition could link to an existing condition. Gathering this vital information ensures that physiotherapy management is safe and helps determine a diagnosis and / or prognosis. It also helps to determine your goals and expectations for treatment.

    Please be advised, that if you had a triage appointment before your first session the therapist may ask for the same information as they process how best to help you.

    The subjective assessment
    The majority of your first session will be a discussion.

    Typical questions you may be asked include the following:

    • How long have you had the condition?
    • How does the issue affect you?
    • Have you already seen a healthcare practitioner?
    • What makes it better or worse?
    • How does it affect your daily life?
    • What are your work and hobbies?

    The objective assessment
    The physical examination is conducted taking into account the information gathered in the subjective assessment. It may include a combination of observations, movements or tests. The aim of the objective assessment is to support the diagnosis and help guide potential management strategies.

    The combination of these two assessments will help to rule out anything more serious, or give the physiotherapist grounds to refer you to an alternative specialist.

    Taking into account the assessment process is complex and carefully considered, it can be time consuming. With the remainder of the session, the therapist will look to recommend and explain the best way to manage the situation towards your goals and expectations (as clinically appropriate). This may include advice and education, starting some exercises or carrying out manual therapy or acupuncture.

  • How can I get the most out of my session?

    Here are some top tips for successful physiotherapy treatment:

    1. Communication: Your physiotherapist will work with you to set realistic goals to ensure sustainable progress throughout the treatment process. It is also important to monitor and communicate how you're feeling and any changes you're experiencing between sessions. Prior to the initial assessment it is important to consider what information you wish to provide the therapist when explaining how your condition is affecting you both physically and mentally, and what you personally wish to get out of your care.
    2. Be proactive in your treatment: Shared decision-making plays a vital role in making sure you are getting the most out of your sessions. If you are involved in the decision-making process, which may include agreeing on specific goals & ideal outcomes (including approximate timeframes), it will be easier to maintain completing your exercises and following any advice. Don't be hesitant to ask as many questions as you need to fully understand the working diagnosis and findings of your assessment to achieve this.
    3. Listen to your body: If something starts to hurt too much, it's your body telling you you've gone too far. Either ease off or stop the action.
  • What should I wear?

    You will need to be able to move around comfortably in your physiotherapy appointment, so you will need to wear something comfortable. Sports clothing or gym kit is ideal.

    Remember that your physiotherapist may need to see the affected area so try and wear something that you feel comfortable removing or moving for ease of access. Your physiotherapist will ensure you are comfortable at all times.

  • How long do sessions last?

    Your first appointment will involve a full assessment so it will take up to 45 minutes. Follow-up appointments are up to 30 minutes long, depending on your management plan.

    Please be aware that therapists are legally required to make clinical notes to summarise the details of sessions and part of the appointment is commonly dedicated to completing the documentation. Whilst this is not active assessment or treatment, it is a vital part of the management of patients and contributes to effective care.

  • Do you get treatment during your initial appointment?

    The first session is primarily an information-gathering assessment, which directs and informs treatment and management options that will be recommended.

    Therapists will look to utilise the most appropriate strategies as soon as possible. this may be the initial assessment or in follow up sessions. It is important to consider there are a variety of strategies that may be adopted.

    Please see 'What happens in my first session?' and 'What happens during my second session?' for further information.

  • Do I need to see my doctor first?

    If you're self-referring and paying for your own treatment, then you don't need to see your GP first.

    If you use private medical insurance, you may need a GP's referral, depending on your insurer's requirements. You should always check with your insurance company before attending your first session.

  • Will it hurt?

    Some assessment and treatment can be uncomfortable but at no stage should you be unable to tolerate the level of discomfort. Your physiotherapist will look to inform you on what to expect during and after sessions and what types of reactions can happen. If you have any concerns, speak to your physiotherapist immediately.

  • Can I bring someone with me?

    You are more than welcome to have someone chaperone you during your treatment. In some cases, a chaperone is compulsory, such as for children or someone with accessibility requirements.

  • Is parking available?

    Most locations* will have parking. If not available on-site, the team at the location will be able to tell you where you can park close by.

    *London-based clinics will commonly be accessible via public transport and do not have parking options.

  • Further appointments

  • What happens during my second session?

    The first follow-up session will often include:

    • A discussion regarding how you felt after the initial appointment
    • Considering if and how there have been changes in the condition
    • A review of the physical examination to see if there have been changes that influence on going management
    • Continuation or modification of treatment that came from the initial appointment
      • Modification may be progression or regression based on the information gathered
    • Commencing new management strategies or treatments.

    If there wasn't sufficient time or it was not clinically appropriate to start treatment in the first session, your therapist will most certainly look to commence a treatment plan in the second session.

  • What happens during further follow-up sessions?

    Your physiotherapist will re-assess your condition during each session and you'll decide together whether:

    • You need a follow-up appointment;
    • You’re safe to continue treatment yourself; or
    • You’re fully recovered.

    The time in between sessions will reflect the condition itself. If you need a follow-up session, this usually won't be the next week, to give you time to make improvements.

    As you improve throughout treatment, you may be given additional exercises to do, or you may be able to reduce or stop them altogether.

  • How long are follow-up sessions?

    Most follow-up appointments are up to 30 minutes and will depend on your treatment plan. Please be advised a portion of the appointment will be dedicated to writing clinical notes which are a legal requirement, the therapist may produce them whilst you are present, or they may do it after you have left the clinic room. If you have any concerns about timings, you're welcome to discuss these with your physiotherapist.

  • How many sessions will I need?

    Your physiotherapy treatment is tailored to your individual needs, so it's not possible to advise in advance exactly how many sessions will be required. However, on average it takes people around 5 sessions to achieve their anticipated results. At your first appointment, your physiotherapist can suggest the number of sessions you'll need based on your assessment findings.

    Your physiotherapist should always keep you updated with how your sessions are going, but it's also important to monitor and communicate how you're feeling or any changes you're experiencing between sessions.

    You can be assured that you won't be over or under-treated at Nuffield Health. We give all our physiotherapists regular audits and case reviews to ensure all our practitioners treat patients to the same high quality. We'll never continue treating beyond the point that is necessary and we'll teach you how to take steps to help prevent needing future treatment.

  • When will I be discharged?

    You'll be discharged from treatment when either: you're confident that you can continue treatment on your own, or you've recovered from your injury.

    Recovery from some conditions, such as ACL surgery, will take a long time, but with most conditions, people find that they can finish physiotherapy treatment in 5 sessions or fewer.

    If patients are experiencing ongoing or worsening symptoms in a manner that suggests physiotherapy is no longer benefiting them our physiotherapists will facilitate referring patients to see alternative healthcare professionals, for example, a GP or orthopaedic specialist.

  • Can I stop treatment at any time?

    Yes, you can stop your treatment at any time. However, we do recommend that you complete the planned treatment course as some effects are temporary and require repeated sessions to have a long-term impact.

    If you feel the treatment isn't achieving the results you anticipated, discuss this with your physiotherapist as they may be able to offer alternative treatment to achieve your desired results.

    If you do stop treatment, you're welcome to return to physiotherapy when it suits you. If this period is longer than 6 weeks, the physiotherapist will likely need to complete a full review of your initial assessment before recommencing treatment.

  • What do I do if physiotherapy isn’t helping me?

    If the treatment plan isn't helping you then raise these concerns with your physiotherapist who will discuss your progress. If you have a long-standing injury or persistent symptoms, it may take some time to make improvements.

    Your physiotherapist may well discuss your case with a senior practitioner colleague and explain their recommendations to you.

  • Discounts

  • I’m a Nuffield Health member – do I get a discount?

    Individual discounts may be available based on your gym membership, for example. Please advise the staff member when making your booking. You'll need to have your membership number and gym location details to hand.

  • I’ve had physiotherapy with Nuffield Health – do I get discounts to any other services?

    By receiving physiotherapy with Nuffield Health, you're able to gain free access to our gyms for 30 days. This will give you an opportunity to use a gym for rehabilitation and access our facilities. Please speak to your physiotherapist regarding this offer.

    If you become a member of one of our fitness and wellbeing clubs, you're entitled to other discounts on Nuffield Health services such as health assessments.

  • Payment

  • When are cancellation fees charged?

    A cancellation fee will be charged if you don't attend an appointment without notice or cancel an appointment with less than one full working days' notice (excluding weekends).

  • How will payment be taken?

    For all initial assessment bookings, payment will be taken at the time of booking. For any follow up appointments payment will be taken once the appointment is complete.

  • Can I pay using my private medical insurance?

    If you wish to use a health insurance product to fund your treatment and would like Nuffield Health to bill your insurer directly, please call our dedicated customer service team on 0345 045 4845. Make sure you have your insurance details to hand.

  • Feedback

  • How can I make a complaint?

    If you would like to make a complaint, please complete the form on our complaints page here.

    We take all concerns and complaints seriously and will make every effort to resolve them to your complete satisfaction. We also regularly review all feedback to continuously improve your experience with us.

  • What happens if the physiotherapist cancels my appointment at short notice?

    Unfortunately, very occasionally, an appointment may need to change due to staff sickness/absence. Every effort will be made to rebook you an appointment with minimal inconvenience.

  • What do I do if my booking is incorrect?

    If there's an error in your booking, please call our dedicated customer service team on 0345 045 4845.

  • What if I’ve been overcharged?

    If an error has been made, we sincerely apologise. In this rare instance, please call 0345 045 4845. If you have any concerns regarding your physiotherapist or treatment, please speak directly with the centre manager who'll work to resolve the matter.