Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during my first appointment?

This will consist of a telephone consultation with a Health and Care Professions registered Physiotherapist. They will then work with you to help develop the most effective treatment plan. You will often be offered some advice and a set of exercises to perform at home.

Everything that you tell the Physiotherapist will be kept completely confidential. If possible please have available the list of the current medication that you are taking.

Depending on your clinical need there will then be the option to self-manage with the advice provided or have a further telephone, video or a face to face appointment.

How long will my appointment be?

Depending on the nature of your condition the first appointment will usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. If you organise further appointments then the Physiotherapist can advise you how long these sessions are likely to last.

How will I know if I need a further appointment?

At the end of the appointment you can discuss with your Physiotherapist as to whether further treatment would be of benefit. Depending on your clinical need there will be the option to self-manage with the advice provided or have a further telephone, video or a face to face appointment.

What should I wear to a face to face appointment? Will I have to undress?

In line with recent recommendations from the UK Government to reduce the spread of coronavirus you will need to wear a face covering at all times.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

Whenever possible we are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you. However, if you do not have one available when you come to hospital or other Trust sites, then please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one. We ask that you only take one mask, these masks are to protect patients and staff and if you take more than one at a time, we will quickly run out and won’t be able to keep everyone safe.

If you are currently shielding, we will provide you with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering and ask for a surgical face mask when you arrive at the hospital.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival.

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language/gestures.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to face coverings while in the hospital.

The Physiotherapist will often need to look at the area concerned and with your consent; you may be asked to remove some clothing. It is often better to wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily taken on and off.

If you are attending for a problem with your lower back or legs, you may wish to bring a pair of shorts. For assessment of your neck or arms a strappy/sleeveless top may be useful.

If for personal or religious reasons you are unhappy to undress then please inform your Physiotherapist. It will not affect your right to treatment, although the assessment and some treatments may need to be adapted.

Can I bring someone with me?

If you require emotional support or there are specific reasons of safety (e.g. dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly) then you can be accompanied by one person from the same household or support bubble.

For their first appointment children under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The need for this at future appointments can then be discussed with the Physiotherapist.

What if I can’t attend my appointment? How do I cancel/rearrange an appointment?

If you are unable to keep an appointment then please telephone the Physiotherapy Department at the North Devon District Hospital on (01271) 322378 as soon as possible.

We will do all we can to prevent cancelling your appointment. However, if this is unavoidable then you will be given as much notice as possible. If you do not attend an appointment then in line with Trust policy we reserve the right to discharge you from our care.

Am I likely to have to wait beyond my appointment time?

All patients are normally seen within 15 minutes of their telephone/video appointment time. If you are waiting longer than this then please telephone the Physiotherapy Department at the North Devon District Hospital on (01271) 322378.

If we are unable to get hold of you at the time of your telephone/video consultation or you arrive late for a face to face appointment, due to providing individual appointment times the Physiotherapist may not be able to see you.

I am seeing a chiropractor/osteopath/private therapist etc. can I still be seen for Physiotherapy?

If another professional (a chiropractor, osteopath or private therapist etc.) is treating you for the same condition, the Physiotherapist will not know whether their treatment is helping or hindering you. Therefore, we do not advise you to be treated by 2 different professionals at the same time. Please feel free to discuss this further with your Physiotherapist.

Can I be seen by a female/male Physiotherapist?

If you would prefer to talk with a male or female Physiotherapist then please inform the Receptionist when booking your first appointment and we will endeavour to meet your request.

Last updated: October 5, 2020