Our Virtual Physiotherapy service offers quick, easy access to a highly qualified physiotherapist via a video link without needing a GP referral. Here, Will Kenton, Head of Physiotherapy, gives step-by-step insight into how the digital service works.
Traditionally there is a mindset that for musculoskeletal problems we have to see a physio face-to-face. Fortunately that’s not true, so lots of common problems can be very effectively managed in a virtual setting with good education, advice, and a rehabilitative exercise programme as well.
Starting Virtual Physiotherapy
The process is very simple, so if a patient has an MSK problem, they can access or request an appointment via the app, using their smart device, they can do it on the portal, or they can call our customer services team request an appointment.
At that point essentially the patient will complete a pre appointment questionnaire based on their presenting complaint, and this is essentially for us to understand a bit more about what’s going on, and it also acts as a bit of a screen from a safety perspective, so we can be sure that the patient is appropriate for the service.
Once we’ve triaged the patient what we’ll then do is automatically they’ll be sent a link via SMS or email to book their initial consultation.
Your initial Virtual Physiotherapy consultation
The initial consultation will last up to 45-minutes with a physiotherapist and essentially is a bit of a fact-finding mission. It’s an opportunity for us to gather some information around their medical history, their presenting complaint, understand what impact the problem is having on their daily life, and what are their goals as well, what do they want to get back to.
We’ll work closely with them to provide a diagnosis, outline a plan, and give them a prognosis to understand how long they’re going to be seeing us for treatment.
One of the key aspects of the initial consultation is what’s called the subjective history, which helps for us to understand exactly what’s been going on, what’s led up to that patient’s presentation, what is contributing to their symptoms, and also what impact is it having on their daily life. Part of that for us is to do a few tests. So, we’ll examine the patient, whuch might be getting them to do a few movements, a few functional tests, which will help confirm our diagnosis, and once we have that we will facilitate essentially a rehabilitative programme for that patient.
This might be that they require some strengthening exercises, or if they’re suffering with range of movement problems, we’ll work on some mobility work. It could be that their primary goal is to reduce their pain, or their swelling in the case of an ankle injury for example.
In all, we’ll very much tailor the requirements of that plan to the patients’ presentation, but also considering their goals.
If appropriate the patient will have a series of follow-up appointments up to 30-minutes with a dedicated physiotherapist. This way, we can track the progress with the patient, and understand how they are finding their rehab journey. If they’re improving, we want to consistently try and move them forward towards their goals, so the patient can ask any further questions around their injury or their problem, what’s the expectation for the upcoming weeks between sessions as well and we’ll review some of the markers that we looked at as part of that initial consultation as well to check progress.
It’s easy to request an appointment via our app or portal. Click here for more on the service.