Therapy Services

Physiotherapy medicine service

The Physiotherapy Team in our Medicine Department provides physio services for patients on adult medical wards at the RVI and Freeman hospitals.

If you are admitted to these wards and have problems with your lungs, tolerance to exercise, or mobility, you may need a physiotherapist.

Patients are referred to us by consultants, nurses and other members of the ward team.


The role of a medicine physiotherapist

The main aim of physiotherapy for patients staying in hospital is to make sure that:

  • patients can breathe effectively and comfortably
  • patients can exercise as much as possible
  • patients can move around safely before leaving hospital. 

Our physiotherapists work with patients to promote, sustain and restore their physical health. We carry out assessments of a patient’s: 

  • mobility
  • balance
  • tolerance to exercise
  • respiratory (breathing) function.

We help patients to develop their capacity for exercise to meet their individual goals. We also supply walking aids and lead the ‘Non-invasive Ventilator Service’.

Services our physio team covers

Our physiotherapists at the Royal Victoria Infirmary cover these services:

  • Respiratory Ward
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiology Ward
  • Gastro Ward
  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Emergency Admissions/A and E
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Heart Failure Class

Physiotherapists at the Freeman Hospital cover:

  • Respiratory Wards
  • Cardiology Wards
  • Renal Wards
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Gastric/Liver Ward
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Bronchiectasis Service

Cardiac Rehabilitation class

A team of physiotherapists works with cardiac nurses to run a cardiac rehabilitation class twice a week. The class involves a warm-up, exercise circuit, cool down, relaxation and education sessions.

The key aims of the class are to support patients to cope with their heart-related illness and promote a healthy lifestyle. 

Pulmonary Rehabilitation service

Patients will be referred to the service by a respiratory consultant if they feel your breathlessness is affecting your capacity for exercise.

You will be assessed by a physiotherapist or a technical instructor - this will involve a walking test. You will then be enrolled in a class at the RVI or Freeman Hospital. The class is twice a week and involves a warm-up, exercises, cool down, relaxation and education sessions. Education sessions are an important addition to the exercise class and include information about:

  • Respiratory medication
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Dealing with infection
  • Benefits of exercise
  • Diet and the lungs
  • How your lungs work
  • Activities of daily living and breathlessness

On finishing pulmonary rehabilitation patients are reassessed and encouraged to continue exercises.

More information

For more details about physiotherapy services, speak to the doctor or nurse on your ward.

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