Physiotherapy advice via telephone reduces waiting times
1 February 2013
A physiotherapy service based on initial telephone assessment has the ability to provide faster access to the service and cut waiting times, a study involving University of Bristol researchers published in the British Medical Journal suggests.
Providing access to physiotherapy has long been a problem in the NHS with waiting times of several week or months. Furthermore, waiting lists may be congested with those who will benefit from physiotherapy advice but have little to gain from a course of face-to-face appointments.
With an ageing population and rising healthcare expectations, healthcare providers need to explore new ways of delivering healthcare with one such suggestion being initial assessment by telephone. However, this has not yet been rigorously evaluated.
Researchers from around the UK therefore assessed the effectiveness of PhysioDirect, where the patient can telephone a physiotherapist for initial assessment and advice without waiting for a face-to-face appointment. Services which have already implemented PhysioDirect claim it has reduced waiting times and was popular with patients. Researchers compared PhysioDirect with usual care in a randomised controlled trial.
Click here for further detail about the results of Physiodirect from the complete Press Release.