Your Physiotherapy appointment

Referral to the Physiotherapy Department

If you think that you would benefit from physiotherapy, discuss your problem with your GP who will decide with you whether the specialist physiotherapy at this hospital could help. Your GP can then refer you to us.

Other health professionals who can refer you to the specialist physiotherapy services here include doctors, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and orthotics. 

Making the First Appointment

An appointment will be sent to you or made over the phone. It is helpful if you provide a phone number where you can be reached during the daytime so that we can agree on a convenient time with you. 

Booking In

Please book in at the reception each time you attend.

Try to arrive a few minutes before your appointment, so that you have time to book in.On your first visit, you will be given an appointment card, which you should bring to each appointment.

The receptionist will advise you where to wait to be seen by the physiotherapist.

A specific time has been set aside for your appointment. 

If you are late your treatment time will be cut short so that the next person can be seen on time.

If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment it may be that we are unable to see you at all on that day. Allow plenty of time to park your car as this may be difficult at times. 

What to expect from your first physiotherapy appointment

Be prepared for your first appointment to last up to an hour to enable the physiotherapist to examine you thoroughly.

  • You will be asked relevant questions about your health.  It will be helpful to bring a list of your tablets with you. In some instances you may be asked to complete some forms.  Please remember to bring your reading glasses.  Assistance with form-filling will be available if required.
  • You will also be asked questions about your home, family, work and hobbies and this is so that we can gauge the physical demands on you in your normal life.
  • You will be examined, and for this you need to be prepared to undress.  It is recommended that you bring shorts and vest top, or clothes that allow us to easily examine you. In some instances, for example back pain, you may need to undress down to your underwear.
  • On occasions you may be requested to attend another department for further investigations, such as an X-ray to help the physiotherapist reach a diagnosis or plan your treatment.

Please discuss with the physiotherapist on the day if you would like a friend or relative to attend the appointment with you. 

Planning your treatment

At the end of your assessment you and your physiotherapist will discuss and agree with you what could be achieved and plan which treatment will be best for you.  It may be that formal treatment does not start until the second visit.  

Follow-up appointments

The physiotherapist will recommend how long it should be before you are seen again, and this will depend on your individual circumstances. Your next appointment will be arranged with you before you leave at the reception desk where you booked in. 

Changing an appointment

Sometimes it may be necessary for you to change an appointment because of unforeseen circumstances.  Please telephone the department as far in advance as possible to re-arrange your appointment. Your slot can then be offered to someone else.

Please be aware that it may be several days or even weeks for another appointment with the physiotherapist to be available.

If you do not attend

When people fail to attend their appointments, the slot is wasted.

  • If you have not attended for a genuine reason, you must let us know as soon as possible.
  • It is your responsibility to re-arrange the appointment.
  • If we do not hear from you within one week you will be discharged and your doctor informed. 

If you choose not to attend

Please let us know why you have chosen not to attend.  If there is something you feel we should have done please tell us as this will help to improve our service.  



All information you give will be treated as confidential.  Physiotherapists have a legal and professional obligation to make notes on their assessment of your symptoms, the treatment and the progress you make. All information you give us will be treated confidentially. 

Occasionally it may be necessary for us to change your appointment, if for example your therapist is unavailable.  If we need to contact you and you are not available to answer the call personally, it is important that you have made it clear to us whether or not we have your permission to leave a message on voicemail or with whoever answers the phone. This will be documented on your notes when you first attend. 

Children and young people

If a patient under the age of 18 attends without their legal guardian the physiotherapist will not be able to go ahead with the appointment as planned. 

In instances where a person under the age of 18 fails to attend an appointment, the physiotherapist is obliged to notify the patients GP and school nurse or health visitor. 

Your Role in the Treatment

It is important that you understand your role in the treatment. 

As part of the management of the condition you will be given an explanation for your symptoms, and you must ask if you do not fully understand what you have been told. 

The success of the treatment depends upon you understanding and following the advice you have been given and practising the exercises as you have been prescribed 

Your own expectations of physiotherapy will be discussed at the start of the treatment. If necessary, and with your permission, your physiotherapist may seek the opinion of another physiotherapist. This is to ensure you are receiving the best possible treatment for your symptoms. 

Finishing Physiotherapy

There may be several reasons for discontinuing physiotherapy. These include:

  • You have successfully reached the goals of the treatment
  • Your symptoms are unlikely to improve any further with physiotherapy
  • You have failed to attend your appointments 

Once treatment has finished a report will be sent to the person who referred you. This report will also be kept with your physiotherapy records for future reference.



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