Enquiries: 01305 251150

Physiotherapy – Outpatients

We are a team of outpatient physiotherapists, physiotherapy assistants and admin staff providing an outpatient physiotherapy service at Dorset County Hospital, Weymouth Community Hospital and at many of the local GP Practices.

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.

Physiotherapists achieve this through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.

The profession helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them to remain independent for as long as possible.

Physiotherapy takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle.

At the core is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.

Where we are

We provide an outpatient physiotherapy service at Dorset County Hospital, Weymouth Community Hospital and at many of the local GP Practices.

For information on how to get directions to the physiotherapy department at Dorset County Hospital, appointment length, what to wear and other useful information please click here.

How to get referred to Physiotherapy

We accept referrals from GPs, orthopaedic consultants/surgeons, Accident & Emergency, Minor Injuries, Dorset Orthopaedic Treatment Service and staff self referral. Referrals are prioritised by one of our physiotherapists as urgent, soon or routine and is dependent on how long you have had your problem for at the time of referral. Other factors that may indicate whether your referral is more urgent are if your ability to sleep or work is affected.

Should you fail to attend an appointment and you do not contact us to let us know, the trust policy is that you will be discharged. In this event you will need to get another referral from the original referrer or your GP to re-access physiotherapy.

What we do

We are a team of 14 outpatient physiotherapists with an excellent skill mix. We provide a comprehensive assessment taking into account your individual needs and produce a treatment plan in discussion with you in order to achieve agreed goals and maximise your independence.

We treat patients from the age of 16 upwards. The treatment we provide, as well as improving your current problem also improves your overall health and wellbeing.

As part of your treatment, in line with government directives, we collect routine patient reported outcome measures to demonstrate our effectiveness.

We are also a training centre for Bournemouth University physiotherapy students who work under the supervision of our senior physiotherapists. During the times when the students are working with us, you may be asked if you can be assessed and treated by them. It is your choice whether or not you wish to be treated by a student.

Conditions we treat

The physiotherapy service that we provide deals with a wide range of conditions. Conditions that we treat include:

  • Neck pain including whiplash
  • Low back pain including sciatica
  • Leg or arm pain including joint, ligament, muscle or nerve problems
  • Post-op hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, back, hand, elbow
  • Post fracture
  • Hand injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Headaches
  • Sacroiliac joint problems

Our expectations of you

Physiotherapy is not a passive treatment. To get the most from your treatment, you will be asked to do exercises at home and to follow advice given by your physiotherapist.

How do we know how well we do?

Your experience of coming here is important to us. As well as collecting outcome measures, on a yearly basis we conduct a patient experience survey. Our most recent survey tells us that 100% of the patients that we treat are satisfied with the service that we provide.

Comments and suggestions

If you have any comments about our physiotherapy service or suggestions on how we can improve our service please contact us using the email address: Rehab.Department@dchft.nhs.uk

Useful Information

Your doctor will refer you to the Physiotherapy Department for assessment. Here are some useful things to know before your first appointment

How do I get there?

If you are coming to Dorset County Hospital follow the signs to South Wing Entrance 1. Once inside follow the signs to Rehabilitation.

How long will I be in the department?

Your first appointment will last for about 30 – 40 minutes. If you are to attend for further appointments your physiotherapist will advise you how long treatment sessions are likely to last.

Can I bring someone with me?

You are welcome to bring a friend or relative with you, and this person can accompany you during treatment if you wish.

What should I wear? Will I have to undress?

Usually you will need to undress to allow the physiotherapist a clear view of the part of your body where you have your problem. For example, for a low back pain you would need to undress to your underwear; for a shoulder problem you would need to remove your blouse or shirt; or for a knee problem you would need to remove trousers, although bring shorts with you if you wish.

How will I know if and when I have to come back for further appointments?

Your doctor sends you to a physiotherapist for assessment. At the end of the first session the physiotherapist will discuss with you whether or not they feel that physiotherapy treatment will be of benefit to you. If you are to attend for treatment further appointments will be made. People tend to have courses of treatment lasting from one to six sessions, although sometimes more sessions will be necessary.

Cancelling appointments

If you are unable to keep an appointment please ring and let us know on 01305 255314. Please give as much notice as possible so that we can re–allocate the appointment space to someone else. We will be happy to change the appointment if the date or time does not suit you if you give us sufficient notice.

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

All patients are normally seen within 10 minutes of their appointment time. If a physiotherapist is unavoidably delayed you should be kept fully informed. Please note that as we give individual time appointments it may not be possible to see you if you arrive late for your appointment.