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:
- GPs and practice nurses
- doctors, nurses and physiotherapists working in outpatient chest clinics or on the inpatient wards at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital
- other specialist healthcare professionals working in the community such as in the @home team.
Before your appointment
Your first appointment will last up to 60 minutes, so please allow this amount of time for your visit. Please arrive on time. If you are late, we may not be able to see you, as this can cause delays for patients who have appointments after you.
Appointments are held at St Thomas’ Hospital. Your initial appointments will take place in the chest clinic, 1st floor, Lambeth Wing. Appointments for the pulmonary rehabilitation course will take place in the physiotherapy department, 3rd floor, Lambeth Wing.
If you use a reliever inhaler such as salbutamol, have a GTN spray or insulin, please bring these with you to all your appointments. Please bring all your inhalers and a list of any other medications to your first appointment.
Please complete the questionnaires that were sent to you with your appointment letter and bring them with you to your first appointment. If you have any difficulties completing the questionnaires, please ask of a staff member for help when you arrive at your appointment.
Please bring any portable oxygen, if used and any walking aids.
Wear suitable shoes and loose, comfortable clothes as the physiotherapist or occupational therapist may carry out a walking test.
You can bring a relative or friend with you to your appointment if you wish.
Cancelling or changing an appointment
Call us on 020 7188 5094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give us as much notice as you can if you need to cancel or change your appointment. If you do not come to your appointment and haven't contacted us, we may discharge you back to your referring doctor.
If you’d rather speak to one of the physiotherapists about your appointment, please call us on 020 7188 5089.
What to expect at your appointment
We may ask you to complete a few short questionnaires when you come for your first appointment. Please let a staff member know if you would like any help with this.
A senior physiotherapist or occupational therapist will:
- ask questions about how your breathing condition affects your day-to-day life
- take observations (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, height and weight)
- carry out a simple walking test to assess how your breathing affects your walking
- explain how pulmonary rehabilitation and exercise can improve your breathlessness, the distance you can walk, and your confidence to manage your breathing condition
- answer any questions you may have about your breathing condition or pulmonary rehabilitation.
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 clinician will discuss with you the best way to manage your problem. You may be:
enrolled in the pulmonary rehabilitation course at St Thomas’ Hospital
referred onto a pulmonary rehabilitation course in your local area
provided with an exercise DVD, exercise handbook and advice on exercising at home and being active in your day-to-day life
referred onto another service to support you with managing your lung condition or other problems which may be affecting you more than your breathing.