Coronavirus: physiotherapy update
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please read our advice and information before attending the service.
How do I get an appointment?
We accept referrals from GP practices within Lambeth and Southwark. Healthcare professionals from our hospitals or from other home oxygen services can also make referrals to this service.
Before your appointment
Your appointment may last up to two hours, so please allow this amount of time for your visit.
Plan how you will travel to your appointment. The ambulatory oxygen clinic is at St Thomas’ Hospital in the Lane Fox Unit in South Wing, which is quite far from the main hospital entrance. You can book hospital transport if you are unable to make it to the clinic on public transport.
- any portable oxygen, if used
- any walking aids, if used
- a list of any medicines you are taking
- your reliever inhaler such as salbutamol, or GTN spray.
Wear suitable clothes and comfortable shoes clothes as the physiotherapist will likely ask you to complete at least one walking test.
You can bring a relative or friend with you to your appointment if you wish.
Cancelling or changing an appointment
If you have been unwell recently and you would like guidance about whether you should attend your appointment, please contact the home oxygen team on 020 7188 8636.
If you need to cancel or change an appointment, please call 020 7188 5094 or speak to the home oxygen team on 020 7188 8636, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not attend your appointment and haven't contacted us, we may discharge you back to your referring clinician.
What to expect at your appointment
We may ask you to complete some short questionnaires when you come for your first appointment. Please let the team know if you would like any help with this.
The physiotherapist will:
- ask some questions about your day to day activities and how you manage them. They will also ask about where you live and in particular about stairs, lifts and which floor you live on
- ask you to complete a walking test either without oxygen or on your long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) level
- discuss whether your walk test shows whether or not oxygen would be helpful for you. If it may help you, they will demonstrate all of the oxygen devices available and help you decide, which if any, may best suit your needs
- they may then ask you to do one or two walking tests on the portable oxygen to check that it helps you and make sure the flow rate is sufficient
- complete a consent form and risk assessment for oxygen at home (unless you have done this recently).
As this is a teaching hospital, students supervised by qualified staff might be involved in your care. It is valuable training for students and does not affect the quality of your treatment in any way, but please tell us if you do not want them to be present or involved. We will always respect your wishes.
After your appointment
The physiotherapist will discuss with you the best way to manage your problem. You may be:
given advice on how to safely use the oxygen at home
told when you will be followed-up in this clinic again
given the contact details for the home oxygen team
referred on to another service which may help you manage your lung condition.