"Physiotherapy Appointments"

About: Adult community health services / Musculoskeletal physiotherapy service

(as the patient),

Basically i had a non emergency problem that needed help to speed up my recovery , as it was effecting my ability to do my work and was causing discomfort.

I had used the booking system before of the physiothetapy dept, but when phoning i was told that the system had changed and i needed to go to my doctors first now to be referred, before i could get an appointment. So first of all, I received no notice that the system had changed!!

So off to the doctors for a 1 minute appointment just so they could send a letter to the physio dept... ( good use of everyones time there!)

Letter sent in post to me asking me to ring the appointment line.... (I think this is more waste of expense)

Rang the appointment line, no appointment for 3 weeks...!!! (i know its a non emergency appointment but 3 weeks!)

Well from first phoning the appointment line (when in the past you would normally be seen in the next 24 hours) the time from wanting to get an appointment to get help and speed my recovery, so the problem doesnt get any worse and take up more resources of the NHS. Had gone from potential 24 hours to 4 weeks........

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Responses

Response from Karen Howard-Grenville, PALS, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Hello

I am sorry to hear that you have found it difficult to access the MSk Physiotherapy service at Bridgwater Community Hospital.

The Direct Access and Self referral pilot was undertaken to try and provide a more responsive service.

This was achieved in the early stages but due to a persistent increased demand upon the service this resulted in us having to ask patients to call back time and time again.

This was very frustrating for patients and staff, and therefore after discussions it was agreed that we should revert to our usual booking system which has continued to run county wide.

It is of note that a number of patients do not take up their physiotherapy immediately - so by sending out appointments this would result in appointments not attended and a further increase in waiting times. Therefore, the MSk Physiotherapy Service on receipt of a referral sends a letter of invite to a patient which also includes our MSk Physiotherapy service leaflet which holds information regarding the appointment.

Thank you for raising your concerns and please be reassured that these have been noted and we will endeavour to use these when reviewing future service re-design.

If you would like to discuss this issue in more detail, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, PALS, on 01823 432022 or email to pals@sompar.nhs.uk.

Fiona Robinson

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Manager

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