What is changing?
Firstly, the MSK physiotherapy service never stopped providing help to people during the COVID19 pandemic. Our service was significantly affected however as the majority of our clinicians were redeployed to work in different roles. It is only now (late May/ Early June 2021) that these clinicians are coming back to work in their normal role within the MSK physiotherapy team.
As a service, we have been able to reflect on how we have had to work over the pandemic and have taken the opportunity to embrace some of the changes and perhaps leave some of the other changes alone. As such, we are relaunching our MSK physiotherapy service with some of these new, more efficient and more exciting ways of working.
A summary of the changes that will affect you as a potential or existing patient are summarised below.
Referring yourself to physiotherapy couldn’t be easier. You can self-refer to our service without needing to see or speak to a GP via our self-referral system. Our physiotherapists monitor this system daily and will review the details you have provided about your issue and will be able to communicate with you (email or post) about what you/ we can do to help your recovery. You can normally expect a reply within 2-3 days of your referral.
We are encouraging GPs and other healthcare professional even more so now, to encourage people to refer themselves via our self-referral system as it is quick, easy and available 24/7*. It is hoped that by doing so that it can help ease some of the pressure on the GPs and allow you as potential patient a rapid way into physio to start your journey towards recovery.
*Self-referral system accessible 24/7 however, triaging by physio team occurs Mon-Fri.
We as a service have been offering a successful and efficient phone triage since 2008 (formally known as Physio Direct). Due to the pandemic and the restrictions on close contact with people, we have embraced this even more along with video calls. This has been accepted well by our patients and we have received good feedback on how effective it has been for their physiotherapy needs.
The flexibility and accessibility of phone and video calls means that going forwards, we will be using phone/ video calls as a means of offering you physiotherapy. We will still be offering face to face clinic appointments and classes however, some of your physiotherapy may be conducted over the phone/ video call.
We have decided to increase our treatment times for first face to face clinic appointments to 60 minutes (previously 30 minutes). It is very likely that you will have a phone/ video call with a clinician before your face to face appointment to ensure that we have a clear understanding of your issue and what direction your rehabilitation might need to go in.
We feel that the extra time that that gives us as clinicians will only help us help you more. It may be that following your face to face appointment any other appointments might be completed by phone/ video call. Not every patient will be offered a face to face appointment if their issue can be managed effectively by other means.
We are pleased to announce that we will be increasing our provision of classes at each site. These classes will be offered to most people entering our service (if appropriate) as growing evidence suggests that managing common aches and pains in a group setting tend to produce better outcomes*
We are hoping to offer a wider range of online classes for those people who cannot attend the face to face options.
*NICE guidelines: Osteoarthritis: care and management (2014) updated 2020; NICE guidelines: Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management (2016) updated 2020; NICE guidelines: Joint replacement (primary) hip, knee and shoulder (2020)
A follow up appointment is another way of saying ‘your next appointment’.
We are moving to a similar system that most people will be familiar with when booking a GP appointment. If you have been told by your physio or by our self-referral system that you need to book your next appointment, you will have to do so by calling our booking line on 01493 809977. You will no longer be able to book appointments at our department receptions.
Below is a simplified walk through of what you will have to do when booking your next appointment.
1: You have been told that you need another appointment (phone/ video or face to face) and when that appointment should be in approximately 1 month (i.e. 10th July)
2: You will be given the number to call 01493 809977.
3: You will be told to call to book your appointment just before it is due i.e. if you’ve been told your next appointment should be in about a month, you can call and try and book this appointment in about a month. Example – your physio says they want to see you in a month (which will be 10th of July for example), you simply need to phone to book your next appointment around the 10th of July.
4: Our booking line team will try and find you an appointment within 3 days of your call. If they cannot find you an appointment, similar to the GP surgeries, you will be asked to call back the following day.
5: If you call 3 times and our booking line team cannot offer you an appointment, they will speak to one of our local admin teams who will try and resolve the issue.
Every appointment that is missed costs the NHS money. It also means that other people in need have to wait longer for help.
We are changing our attendance policy so that if you fail to attend your appointment without letting us know beforehand, you will be discharged from physiotherapy on the same day.
More information on our attendance (or missed appointments) policy can be found in our 'ECCH DNA (Did not attend) policy' here
A: 01493 809977
A: No not really. If you and your physio have agreed that your next appointment should be in about 1 month, then simply phone us in about a month to try and book your appointment.
A: If you want to continue your physiotherapy you must call us to book your appointment. If we have not heard from you for 2 weeks after you were told to book your appointment, we will assume that you don’t need physiotherapy anymore and you will be discharged.
A: We’ve made these changes to improve our efficiency and ultimately allow us to see patients more quickly. In order for this to work, we have moved to a system where all the appointment bookings are done by just one team i.e. our booking line team.
A: Just like if you were calling to book a GP appointment, you will be asked to call back the following day. If you call 3 times and each time we cannot offer you an appointment, we have a system whereby we will be able to make one available. This option is only used if we cannot book you an appointment on the first 3 attempts.
A: Previously, we had a system where we booked follow up appointments at the department receptions. The way that the physio service used to operate and the volume of patients we helped, meant that we soon found ourselves in a position where we weren’t always able to offer our patients an appointment when we wanted to. Our new system, has been adopted with the sole intention of making it easier for our clinicians to see/ speak with you when they want/ need to.
For general enquires or to arrange your first appointment with a physiotherapist call us on 01493 809977 (from 7am to 8pm Monday to Sunday)
Or fill in our contact form online and we'll be in touch