Are you worried about NHS wait times?

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Are you worried about NHS wait times? 27 February 2020

If you are, the good news is that we can help.  Bannerdale offer same day, early morning and evening osteo and physio appointments meaning that most of our patients wait less than 24 hours for treatment.

A recent freedom of information request has revealed that people are waiting as long as 132 days to see a physiotherapist in England (average wait time is 45 days for routine checks and 18 days for urgent appointments in England) – we believe that this is far too long.

Not only do we offer fast access to treatment and expert diagnosis, but there are a range of other benefits too:

  • You choose the date and time of your appointment to fit in around your busy life.
  • Access to the latest treatment options and k- laser.
  • Consistency and continuity of treatment from the same Osteopath each time, rather than being passed around.
  • Convenient location in the heart of Nether Edge.

What are the dangers of waiting too long for an appointment?

While many people choose to wait for an NHS appointment to become available for them, this comes with some risks to their health and puts their recovery in jeopardy or certainly makes the process much more complicated and longer.

People with strains and sprains are putting themselves at risk of long term mobility problems by waiting over 2 months to see an NHS physiotherapist.

In many cases, we find that early intervention and treatment may prevent problems from escalating into more serious issues. It can reduce the need for long term care meaning you need fewer appointments overall, your symptoms are relieved faster and your recovery is much improved without the need for further intervention. 

What is the difference between Physiotherapy and Osteopathy?

This is a question we are asked frequently, and the truth is that Physiotherapy and Osteopathy have a lot more in common than they differ. As far as I am aware, there are no comparative studies to suggest physiotherapists are better than osteopaths or that osteopaths are better than physiotherapists. It really comes down to the personal choice of individuals.

Physiotherapy is much more common within the NHS and is frequently referred to by GPs, doctors and surgeons. Like osteopathy, physiotherapy uses hands-on treatment to gently work the muscles, bones and joints in your body alongside prescribing exercises and stretches to alleviate your symptoms.

The main difference is that historically physiotherapists did not diagnose specific conditions, usually because their patients were referred to them by a GP who has pre-diagnosed the problem. An osteopath, however, is trained to diagnose the symptoms and treat the cause of your problem.

During your appointment, an osteopath would typically approach your body as a whole. For example, if you had pain in your knee your osteopath would discuss the symptoms you are experiencing and ask you questions about your general health, lifestyle and medical history, give you a thorough Osteopathic examination and outline the treatment that we think is most appropriate for you. This may involve treatment around your knee, hip and back alongside advice on how to make small changes to your lifestyle that will improve your posture and reduce the strain on your knee.

Physiotherapy in the NHS tends to be more area-specific than osteopathy. Your physiotherapist will more often focus solely on the area that is indicated in the referral and is less likely to have the time to consider other niggles and problems you have, often heavily relying on exercises alone for recovery.

Both Physiotherapists and Osteopaths should give you excellent care. An Osteopath should be able to tailor your treatment plan to you and your needs better than an NHS Physiotherapist. This is because there are only the two of us involved in forming a plan so we can discuss what is most appropriate for you and appointment availability is a priority so we make sure we keep slots free so there aren’t long waits.

(We also have a blog here on the difference between Osteopathy and Chiropractic if you would like more information)

Do I need a referral from my GP?

Most patients require a referral from their GP to see an NHS physiotherapist.

The good news for you is that you do not need a referral to see an Osteopath, but we may refer you back to your GP for further tests/ treatment if we think it will be beneficial to you.

It is not necessary to tell your GP before seeing an Osteopath. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners, so we are clinically trained to assess you, although it can be helpful for us to have access to any test results that you think may be relevant.

However, if you have already been in touch with your GP and undergone tests it would be really useful for you to bring any relevant x-rays, scans or results in with you alongside a list of any medications you are currently taking.

If you have any orthotics, braces or supports you should bring those too.

Can I claim on my private health insurance?

Yes! We are registered with most Health Insurers and your treatment will be covered by most providers, although you will need to confirm with them before booking.

All policies are different, but the standard most patients are able to claim for seems to be 3-6 treatments.

Why wait to see a physiotherapist?

We offer same day, early morning and evening appointments meaning that most of our patients wait less than 24 hours for treatment, so there really is no need to wait.

Our goal is to get you back to health as quickly as we can, using as few treatments as possible and we view a successful outcome by not seeing you again! 

That’s not to say we will abandon you once you are starting to feel a bit better. You should leave with an understanding of why your condition has arisen and knowledge of what you can do to prevent re-occurrence. As with physiotherapy, we believe exercises are very important too so we will attempt to find a few that work for you and your lifestyle to speed up your recovery and reduce the chances of you needing ongoing care.

And the best part? – Should you need us again in the future, all you need to do is call! There will be no waiting list, your notes will still be with us and you will not need another referral.