Physiotherapy - Northern Services

Physiotherapy is a science-based profession that takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Our Physiotherapists provide high quality care for individuals with a wide range of muscle, joint and post-operative conditions.

You can benefit from Physiotherapy at any time in your life. Physiotherapy is all about helping you to maintain, improve and maximise your movement and ability. We use many different approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being.

More about us

Physiotherapists help people with a range of conditions, particularly those associated with the neuro-muscular, musculo-skeletal, cardio-vascular and respiratory systems; providing advice, treatment, rehabilitation, health promotion and support behavioural change.

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

We use a shared decision-making approach in response to assessment and individual need and provide treatment which may include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, advice and other physical approaches.

We work across the hospital and in the community with different patient groups, including children, the working population and older people.

Where to find us

Therapy Department

Level One

North Devon District Hospital

Raleigh Park


Admin number for enquiries: 01271 322378

Out-patient appointments may be held at one of our community sites closer to your home. These include:

We hope that you find what you need on this site but if you have further questions then please give us a call on 01271 322378

Meet the team

Physiotherapists work across the inpatient wards and support a number of outpatient services. Each specialist area has a team lead, supported by specialist clinicians, rotational junior staff and skilled unregistered staff to provide the range of interventions patients require. We also support students on placement from university.

Here are our teams and services:

Respiratory/ acute medicine team including out-patients
We provide holistic assessment and interventions for patients with both acute and chronic medical/respiratory conditions. Interventions can include rehabilitation, exercise programmes, breathlessness management, airway clearance techniques and signposting to community services. We support chronic respiratory patients in outpatient clinics and through outpatient respiratory reviews.

Critical care and surgery team
We specialise in the rehabilitation of patients in different settings, including intensive care and surgical wards (emergency and planned surgery). Our team treats people who have been seriously ill and at their most vulnerable, perhaps needing respiratory support. We offer rehabilitation exercise, advice, education and individual goal plans to support your return home. 

Trauma and elective orthopaedics
We specialise in the assessment and rehabilitation of a variety of patients who are admitted to hospital because of a traumatic accident (for example road traffic accident or a fall) or those undergoing planned orthopaedic surgery (elective). Our team provides exercise, early rehabilitation and work closely with staff across the hospital to promote independence and help with early and safe discharge. Follow-up might also be provided by our supported discharge team, community team or out-patient services.

Medical rehabilitation

The medical rehabilitation team covers patients based both at the acute hospital in Barnstaple and those at South Molton community hospital. Rehabilitation is aimed at achieving the patient’s maximal independence and ensure a safe discharge.

Neurology and stroke teams
We provide specialised assessment and rehabilitation for patients after stroke, supporting early rehabilitation and continuation on discharge. We also help patients with head or spinal injuries or long-term conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Patients are seen within the ward setting or as an out-patient at one of our hospital sites.

Physiotherapy out-patients
We accept GP and consultant referrals for patients with muscle or joint pain or those following orthopaedic trauma, or surgery focussing on regaining range of movement, mobility and strength in individual or gym-based sessions or, at times hydrotherapy. Interventions support the return to normal function, work or sport.

Your first Physiotherapy appointment will consist of a face-to-face appointment with a member of the team (telephone or video appointments are available if preferred). They will work with you to develop the most effective treatment plan. Depending on your clinical need there will then be the option to self-manage with the advice provided or have a further telephone, video or face-to-face appointment. In some circumstances referrals to other services may be made

Community Physiotherapy

Our Community Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy team work closely with social care and community nursing.

Frequently asked questions

What happens during my first out-patient appointment?

This will consist of a face to face, telephone or video consultation with a Health and Care Professions registered Physiotherapist. They will then work with you to help develop the most effective treatment plan. You will often be offered some advice and a set of exercises to perform at home.

Everything that you tell the Physiotherapist will be kept completely confidential. If possible please have available the list of the current medication that you are taking.

Depending on your clinical need there will then be the option to self-manage with the advice provided or have a further telephone, video or a face to face appointment.

How long will my appointment be?

Depending on the nature of your condition the first appointment will usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. If you organise further appointments then the Physiotherapist can advise you how long these sessions are likely to last.

How will I know if I need a further appointment?

At the end of the appointment you can discuss with your Physiotherapist as to whether further treatment would be of benefit. Depending on your clinical need there will be the option to self-manage with the advice provided or have a further telephone, video or a face to face appointment.

What should I wear to a face to face appointment? Will I have to undress?

Please view the main hospital website to check current guidelines regarding wearing of masks and face coverings to prevent infection. All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to face coverings while in the hospital.

The Physiotherapist will often need to look at the area concerned and with your consent; you may be asked to remove some clothing. It is often better to wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily taken on and off.

If you are attending for a problem with your lower back or legs, you may wish to bring a pair of shorts. For assessment of your neck or arms a strappy/sleeveless top may be useful.

If for personal or religious reasons you are unhappy to undress then please inform your Physiotherapist. It will not affect your right to treatment, although the assessment and some treatments may need to be adapted.

Can I bring someone with me?

If you require emotional support or there are specific reasons of safety (e.g. dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly) please bring a companion or carer with you.

For their first appointment children under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The need for this for older children at future appointments can then be discussed with the Physiotherapist.

What if I can’t attend my appointment? How do I cancel/rearrange an appointment?

If you are unable to keep an appointment then please telephone the Physiotherapy Department at the North Devon District Hospital on 01271 322378 as soon as possible.

We will do all we can to prevent cancelling your appointment. However, if this is unavoidable then you will be given as much notice as possible. If you do not attend an appointment then in line with Trust policy we reserve the right to discharge you from our care.

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

All patients are normally seen within 15 minutes of their telephone/video appointment time. If you are waiting longer than this then please telephone the Therapy Department at the North Devon District Hospital on (01271) 322378.

If we are unable to get hold of you at the time of your telephone/video consultation or you arrive late for a face to face appointment, due to providing individual appointment times the Physiotherapist may not be able to see you.

Can I be seen by a female/male Physiotherapist?

If you would prefer to talk with a male or female Physiotherapist then please inform the Receptionist when booking your first appointment and we will endeavour to meet your request. This may not be possible for all services.

Information for healthcare professionals

For specialist areas, out-patient referrals are made via GP’s and consultants using orders on EPIC or via the e-referral system.

Last updated: March 01, 2024.


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