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02.03.20|Posted by Ascenti Team

Virtual physiotherapy FAQs - your questions answered

If you've been booked into our virtual physiotherapy services and would like to find out more, read the answers to our frequently asked questions below.

How does the Ascenti virtual physiotherapy IT work?

Ascenti’s virtual physiotherapy service is delivered by telephone or using video call technology in the same way that you would Facetime or Skype a friend. 

We also conduct appointments over the telephone if we need to or if you would prefer to speak with us in this way. 

For a video call you can use your mobile, iPad, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, as long as it has a camera and is connected to the internet. 

Your appointment confirmation email will provide you with more detailed set-up information and you can contact us if you have any further questions. 

What are the benefits of virtual physiotherapy?

Virtual physiotherapy is an alternative to a face-to-face in-clinic appointment that can save you time and offer great results, or what we would call ‘strong treatment outcomes’. 

Research shows that the right management of injuries and conditions early on helps people to recover faster and stops problems from becoming bigger in the future. 

Unfortunately, people often put off seeing a physiotherapist because it can be hard to take time out to visit a clinic in the day or challenging to travel if you are suffering with pain or mobility issues. 

Virtual physiotherapy is an amazing solution to this. It can connect you with a trained physiotherapist at the touch of a button and from the comfort of your home, work or wherever you need to be. 

Our PhysioNow patient app, which forms part of the Ascenti virtual physiotherapy service, also helps you and your physio to track your progress and how you are getting on after your appointment. 
 

What can I expect from my first virtual physiotherapy appointment?

The main element of any first physiotherapy appointment, whether in clinic face to face or over video or telephone, is an assessment of the condition or injury. 

This assessment typically includes questions about your problem and your physiotherapist asking you to perform certain movements. 

Your virtual physiotherapy appointment will include all of these same elements and will likely be structured like the below:

  • Hello and introduction. 
  • If you provided information to us before your appointment then your physio may check some details with you. 
  • They will talk with you to learn more about your condition, symptoms and lifestyle. 
  • They may ask you to perform certain movements on the video call so that they can assess your function. 
  • Your physio will provide you with advice about how to treat and manage your condition. This will include access to our PhysioNow patient app, where your physio will set you up with an account that includes exercise videos and treatment advice personalised to you. 
  • Depending on if it is needed, you may be booked in for a follow up virtual physiotherapy appointment or face to face appointment in clinic. 
     

What do the terms telehealth, telephysio and virtual physiotherapy mean?

The term ‘telehealth’ originated from the 1950s when doctors in the USA and Australia started holding telephone consultations with patients in hard to reach rural areas. 

‘Telehealth’ has since been used to describe any healthcare service that is delivered using technology or telecommunications instead of being delivered face-to-face. 

The term ‘telephysio’ is an extension of this and represents any services being delivered by a physiotherapist. 

‘Virtual physiotherapy’ essentially means the same thing but is a phrase that better fits our modern world and represents the use of technology beyond just the telephone - for example, video calls and online diagnosis tools. 

How should I prepare for my virtual physio appointment?

To get the most from your virtual physiotherapy appointment with us we recommend that you follow five simple steps:

1) Carefully read the guidance that we send you by email confirming your appointment and share any additional information that we need from you before-hand.  

2) Find a location that offers you privacy for your virtual physiotherapy appointment. You may need to perform movements or share personal information. 

3) Make sure you are in a location where the physio will be able to see and hear you clearly. 

4) Get your phone or laptop set up beforehand and make sure you have good signal and battery. 

5) If you have any problems or need to cancel your appointment please give us as much warning as possible by contacting us

Will I speak to a real physiotherapist?

Yes. Ascenti physiotherapists deliver our virtual physiotherapy service. 

These physiotherapists are the same highly trained clinicians who deliver our in-clinic services and see patients in person. They are not temps, trainees or people that we contract the work out to like a call centre. 

Ascenti physiotherapists are qualified medical professionals who receive a minimum of 100 hours of protected training and development time annually and are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). 

What is the Ascenti virtual physiotherapy service?

Ascenti’s virtual physiotherapy service is when you have a consultation with one of our physiotherapists using video call or telephone instead of meeting with them in a clinic. 

Before you are booked in for a virtual physiotherapy appointment with Ascenti we will ask you important questions about your symptoms. This is usually in the form of an online physio symptom checking tool and helps us to make sure that virtual physiotherapy is right for you. 

As soon as you book an appointment with us you will be able to download and use our PhysioNow patient app, an important tool where your physiotherapist will prescribe you with exercises and advice to follow after your appointment. 

How can I access Ascenti's virtual physiotherapy service?

Our virtual physiotherapy login experience may vary from patient to patient, depending on the service and who it is for. 

At the moment our virtual physiotherapy service is only available to patients who are referred for treatment with us by health insurance provider Vitality and healthcare plan managers Healix

  • Private Medical Insurance member - If you have Private Medical Insurance then you should check your insurer’s website and see if they work with Ascenti. If they do, then there will usually be instructions about how you can access our services, for example Vitality members can book a virtual physiotherapy appointment with us directly through the Vitality Patient Zone. 
  • Employee wellbeing - If you are booking virtual physiotherapy as part of an employee wellbeing service where you work then you might connect with our service through your staff intranet or be referred by your HR team. Speak to your employer for more details. 
     

If I'm worried or have a follow-up questions, who can I speak to?

If at any point after your virtual physiotherapy appointment you feel your condition has gotten worse or you are concerned about your exercises or plan, you can talk to your physiotherapist through PhysioNow.  

You can book another virtual physiotherapy appointment, or if you feel it’s needed, a face-to-face physiotherapy appointment with us. 

You can also speak to us using live chat or by contacting us
 

What is the difference between virtual physiotherapy and face-to-face appointment?

Ascenti’s virtual physiotherapy service is very similar to a first time face-to-face physiotherapy appointment with us in clinic. The physical assessment is modified but we still ask you to show us how well you can move and may ask you to perform certain tests or tasks while we watch. 

It is a fully qualified and professionally trained Ascenti physiotherapist talking with you and running through the same set of assessment questions that they would ask in clinic. 

If anything the assessment questions are actually more detailed to account for the virtual setting. 

Is my data and personal information safe?

Yes. Your data is safe with us. 

You will never have to worry that your data is being stored inappropriately, managed badly or shared with anyone that it shouldn’t be.  

As the leading independent provider of physiotherapy services in the UK, we take our responsibilities seriously and pride ourselves on upholding the highest standards of patient information and data security. 

You can read more about our credentials here and our Privacy Policy in full here
 

How can I cancel my virtual physiotherapy appointment?

You can cancel your appointment easily online by speaking to us using the webchat button below, emailing or calling 0333 255 2689.

Is virtual physiotherapy safe? What if you miss a serious pathology or problem?

Ascenti’s virtual physiotherapy service is safe and effective. 

It is a fully qualified and professionally trained Ascenti physiotherapist talking with you and running through the same set of assessment questions that they would ask you in clinic. 

This assessment will rule out any serious underlying cause or what we call a serious pathology, and flag any issues that need to be investigated in the same way as a face-to-face appointment would. 

Our virtual physiotherapy service is subject to the same high levels of safety and quality testing as all of our services and systems - learn more about governance and quality at Ascenti. 

Get in touch

Call our central booking line on - 0330 678 0850