Physiotherapy

About

Our physiotherapy service provides rehabilitation for inpatients and outpatients at Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and St Mary’s hospitals and various community locations.

Treatment may include education, advice and exercise to maximise independence and self-management strategies. The inpatient service provides expert physiotherapy assessment, treatment and advice for all inpatients that require physiotherapy to facilitate recovery following acute illness or surgery and to facilitate discharge home or onward referral for rehabilitation.

The outpatient service receives referrals from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust consultants for patients requiring expert physiotherapy assessment and treatment and for rehabilitation after surgery.

Conditions and treatments

We offer inpatient physiotherapy services within all speciality areas provided by the Trust. Our physiotherapists are allocated to specific wards according to the specialty skills of each therapist. All hospital departments can discuss the specific physiotherapy needs of a patient with their ward-based therapist and referrals for physiotherapy will be responded to within 24 hours. Our physiotherapists attend the board rounds and multidisciplinary team meetings on the wards to assist our medical teams in the planning of on-going care. All patients are assessed by a Health & Care Professions Council registered physiotherapist and treatment is individually tailored to the patient's needs.

The service will accept referral for inpatients with any presenting condition if physiotherapy would benefit the patient, including:

We offer outpatient services for:

  • musculoskeletal conditions e.g. back and neck pain, other joint pain, soft tissue injuries
  • post-orthopaedic surgery
  • rheumatology conditons
  • chronic pain
  • vestibular disorders
  • hand therapy
  • intermittent claudication – classes
  • amputees – prosthetic rehabilitation
  • obstetrics – antenatal and postnatal assessment, treatment and advice for back pain, continence and urogynaecological problems
  • gynaecology – conservative management for women with continence and urogynaecological problems
  • advanced practitioner service in orthopaedic clinics, pain clinics, chronic respiratory care, and HIV clinics
  • chronic pulmonary illness
  • neurological conditions  expert opinion and signposting to appropriate services only

All outpatient referrals are screened and may be referred on to our community-based services if appropriate.

Treatments we offer

  • Treatment and education 
  • Postural and ergonomic advice and back care education 
  • Gait re-education to improve mobility
  • Manual therapy to mobilise the joints and soft tissue 
  • Teaching specific exercises to improve strength or flexibility 
  • Joint management 
  • Self-management strategies and healthy lifestyle choices 
  • Hydrotherapy 
  • Strength training regimes 
  • Functional task practice 
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular exercise regimes 
  • Group exercise sessions 

Additional information

Clinical trials and research

Caroline Alexander is a lead clinical academic for therapies: Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and adjunct reader Imperial College London. She is a senior clinical academic physiotherapist in musculoskeletal outpatients and has a motor control laboratory situated in the physiotherapy department of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She is a member of the human performance group in the department of surgery and cancer led by Alison McGregor (professor of musculoskeletal biodynamics, surgery and cancer). Her research interests include investigation of the cortical and reflex control of movement using transcranial magnetic stimulation and electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves. She is particularly interested in the control of movement in healthy people and in people with musculoskeletal problems such as joint hypermobility syndrome and shoulder instability.

Current projects include exploring the rate of change of muscle strength in people who are hypermobile, an investigation of the cortical and reflex control of movement in people who are hypermobile and kinematics and kinetics of knee movement in people who are hypermobile. Finally, she is exploring the cortical control of shoulder girdle muscles in healthy individuals. If you would like to find out more about taking part in these studies please contact Caroline Alexander at caroline.alexander1@nhs.net.

Education

We provide education and training to undergraduate physiotherapists from Brunel, Kings and St George's Universities. Our undergraduate education lead is Elise Cohen, physiotherapist in specialist neurological rehabilitation at Charing Cross Hospital. We also provide post-graduate education for master's students from universities nationally and PhD students from Imperial College, London. The physiotherapy department often runs external courses for physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals.

Further online resources

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Nurse-holding-woman
 

We accompanied our mother to an urgent post-knee-replacement rehabilitation appointment at St Mary's Hospital. We had a very thorough appointment with a physiotherapist who was so kind to our mum and put her at ease for her assessment.

Anonymous
Physiotherapy
 

Fantastic nursing, medical and physiotherapy staff who are collaborative, kind, friendly and informative. Ridiculously brilliant surgeons. No complaints at all.

Anonymous
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