Innovative service will speed up appointments
02 October 2015
The physiotherapy team at Southend have launched an innovative new service that will speed up patient appointments for musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
PhysioDirect is a telephone service, manned by senior
physiotherapists, which patients can ring on the guidance of their
GP. The physiotherapist will provide an initial assessment over the
phone to decide whether the patient needs to come in for a face to
The service will provide advice and exercises for patients that
don't need to be seen straight away, and then asks the patient to
call back on an agreed date if their symptoms haven't improved.
If the patient calls back they will be given an appointment
within a couple of weeks.
Lauren Jones, senior physiotherapist, said: "The introduction of
this service is to improve the patients' experience. At the moment,
any patient referred to us by their GP can be waiting up to 12
weeks for a new patient appointment. By that time, their symptoms
may worsen meaning they have waited a long time in pain and
discomfort when they could have been doing some simple exercises to
help their symptoms.
Sometimes a patient's symptoms significantly improve or resolve
in this time and they often don't attend their appointment and
don't cancel it either resulting in wasted appointments which could
have been used to help another patient."
The new service ensures that physiotherapy appointments are
allocated based on clinical need and provides early access for
patients that need a face to face consultation.
It also means that all patients will have access to
physiotherapy advice more quickly. Stephanie Carey, senior
physiotherapist, said: "PhysioDirect means that patients will be
able to access physiotherapy advice immediately instead of waiting
up to 12 weeks. We will be able to identify and see patients that
need to come in and see us much more quickly, and patients that
don't need to come in will benefit from advice on their symptoms,
and exercises that will improve their condition. We're really
hoping that the service will significantly reduce the number of
lost appointments we have at the moment, and thus speed things up
Image: Stephanie Carey and Lauren Jones