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Please be aware, the information on this page relates to Bedford Hospital

Out Patient Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that works with people to identify and maximise their ability to move and function. Functional movement is a key part of what it means to be healthy. This means that physiotherapy plays an important role in enabling people to improve their health, well-being and quality of life.

Physiotherapists use their professional knowledge along with practical and communication skills in their day-to-day practice. This combination of knowledge and skills means that practitioners can work with the individual, recognising that physical, psychological, social and environmental factors can affect movement and function. They use their knowledge and skills to help individuals decide how to address their needs.

The Royal Charter gives physiotherapy a broad scope of practice that includes manual therapy, exercise and movement, electrotherapy and other physical approaches.

Physiotherapy is an autonomous profession. This means that physiotherapists can accept referrals for assessment from a range of sources: from an individual themselves via a self-referral form or from other people involved with that individual such as your GP or consultant. Physiotherapy can offer a range of interventions, services and advice to improve individuals’ health and well-being.

For more information about the outpatient physiotherapy department, please click on the link below.

(Adapted from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Framework)

What to expect

After you have been referred or self-referred directly (no GP appointment required) via Circle Health (download form here), you will receive a letter from the department. This will require you to contact us to arrange your appointment at a time and location that suits you best. It will also contain two forms that you need to fill out and bring with you to your first appointment.

During your initial appointment, your physiotherapist will ask you a range of questions regarding your current complaint and past medical history.

It would be helpful if you could wear loose, comfortable clothing or bring some shorts to enable your physiotherapist to assess you effectively. If you feel uncomfortable, you may be required to remove some items of clothing.

If you need an interpreter or a chaperone, you may bring someone with you. Alternatively, if you need us to provide you with a chaperone or interpreter, please contact the department in advance.

The physiotherapist will help you to understand your problem and then work with you to develop effective treatment and self-management plan that takes into account your lifestyle, leisure activities and general health.

When you arrive at the physiotherapy outpatient department, please check in at the therapy reception desk, where your name and details will be taken. You will then be asked to take a seat in the waiting area until your physiotherapist is ready to see you.

For your first appointment, please allow up to 45 minutes. Any subsequent appointments will be up to 30 minutes in duration.

All staff are fully qualified Chartered State Registered Physiotherapists who are required to attend regular training and development activities to ensure current evidence based practice. The department undertakes clinical student placements. Therefore, you may be asked if you would mind being assessed and treated by a student who will be working under the supervision of a qualified Physiotherapist.

Change or Cancel an Appointment

Please contact the department to cancel or re-arrange your appointment on

01234 792088. Please try to give at least 24 hours notice. If you fail to attend an appointment and no prior contact has been made, you will automatically be discharged in line with Bedford Hospital Trust policy.