How does the Ascenti online physiotherapy service work?
Ascenti’s online appointments are delivered through the Ascenti Physio app, 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.
You can use your mobile, iPad, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, as long as it has a camera and is connected to the internet.
If you are using a mobile device, you will need to download the Ascenti Physio app on your app store and log in using your access code.
If you're on a computer you will need to head to physionow.ascenti.co.uk.
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.
The Ascenti Physio 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.
Please note that the Ascenti Physio app is not available to Vitality customers.
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 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 patient app, an important tool where your physiotherapist will prescribe you with exercises and advice to follow after your appointment.
Please note, Vitality customers will not have access to the Ascenti Physio app. Instead, you can access PhysioCare here.
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.
- 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 the Ascenti Physio app.
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.
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.
Preparing for your video consultation
Check your connection
You can use the Ascenti Physio app on an iPhone or Android device, or on a web browser. Vitality customers can use PhysioCare on a web browser.
You need to be logged in and connected to the internet in order to receive the video call from your physio. We recommend connecting via WiFi, as it tends to be more reliable.
Run a system check
To make sure that your online physio appointment goes smoothly, we advise you to check your system ahead of the video call.
If you're on iOS or Android (Please note, the Ascenti Physio app is not available to Vitality customers)
Make sure you have the most recent version of the Ascenti Physio app installed on your iOS or Android device.
Make sure that the Ascenti Physio app has access to your camera and microphone.
If you're using a web browser
Pick the right web browser
When using the Ascenti Physio app on your computer or laptop, it’s best to use Google Chrome or Firefox.
Check the camera angle
As you may be asked to perform exercises, make sure your camera can be angled to focus on the relevant part of your body during the exercise. Make sure you also have enough space.
Test this out before your call starts by opening the webcam on your computer, or the camera option on your phone or tablet. Check you have your front-facing camera switched on, so that you can look at the screen as well as show your face.
Find a quiet space
Treat the session in the same way as if the physio were coming to your house. So get a quiet spot away from any distractions e.g. pets, colleagues and children.
Check your microphone
For the best quality audio, use headphones with a microphone. If you don’t have headphones, check that the microphone on your computer or tablet works.
How to start your video consultation
You can’t call your physio; they call you.
When it’s time for your appointment:
- Go to physio.ascenti.co.uk preferably in Google Chrome or Firefox.
- Enter the six-letter access code you receive in your Ascenti Physio app invitation email, along with your date of birth.
- Click the “Access your programme” button.
Your physio will now be able to call you.
When the call comes through, you’ll see a 'Join video call' button appear in the top right. To answer the call, just press the button.
Switching audio and video off
If at any point during the call you want to turn off your camera and/or sound, just press the camera and/or microphone symbols in the top left corner of your screen. You’ll see a line appear through the symbols when they’ve been turned off.
Can I request to be seen by a male or female physiotherapist?
Yes. If you would prefer to be seen by a therapist of the same sex, please tell us when you book your appointment or contact us to let us know.
What should I tell the physiotherapist?
You’ll get more from your treatment if you know what you want to get out of your physio session beforehand. Here are some questions the physio is likely to ask:
- What do you want to get out of the treatment session?
- Where are you experiencing any pain?
- When did the problem first start?
- Is there anything that could have triggered it?
- When is the problem at its best and worst?