Welcome to the Physiotherapy Department


The Physiotherapy Department is situated in the Hartshead building opposite the general outpatients department. The department has excellent facilities include a Gym and treatment areas .

The department is a modern, progressive unit, providing high quality and wide ranging services. The Department offers Physiotherapy services to most disciplines within the Trust.

The Therapists are all based in the Hartshead building making it the focal point with satellite treatment areas dotted about the vast site. This makes co-ordination and day to day management more efficient.

We have close links with our Community Trust to provide community services and also the Paediatric service is based outside our trust although Children who are admitted to the Medical or Orthopaedic wards are seen by the staff on those specialities.

Student placements are also accommodated from both Manchester and Salford University. The service offers a four monthly Staff Grade rotation to each speciality offered by the department where the juniors are integrated as part of the physiotherapy and multidisciplinary team.


Outpatient services

Most of our referrals are from the Orthopaedic clinics at this hospital.

We also take referrals from GPs, Accident and Emergency, the Occupational Health department and surrounding Trusts. We treat the full range of musculoskeletal conditions and also offer specialised services in Hydrotherapy, Rheumatology, hand injuries, Neurology, Continence and chronic pain.

Patient working on the treadmill


Services provided:

We provide a wide range of physiotherapy specialties within a purpose built department in Tameside Hospital. The services are provided by very experienced staff including clinical specialist physiotherapists with a large range of skills.

All patients are individually assessed by the most appropriate clinician. Treatments provided are based on evidence and appropriate clinical reasoning and are structured around education, advice and self management. We use a holistic approach utilizing a range of treatment modalities and frameworks.


We aim to provide rapid access to physiotherapy and are 100% compliant with the national Referral To Treatment performance time-frames. Additionally we strive to prioritise urgent referrals to facilitate earlier recovery.

Referrals are accepted from GP's, Consultants and other health professionals.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy:

A comprehensive service covers both acute and chronic spinal and peripheral conditions eg frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, back and neck pain, post-operative rehabilitation, ligament and soft tissue injuries. All musculoskeletal conditions are treated including cervicogenic headaches, temperomandibular joint problems and pelvic girdle pain (symphysis pubis dysfunction).

Treatment is based on identification of problems following thorough assessment:

Treatment modalities might include:

  • Electrotherapy (eg ultrasound, pulsed shortwave diathermy)
  • Exercise including Pilates, home programmes
  • Manual therapy (eg manipulation and mobilisation)
  • Education and advice
  • Acupuncture

Some patients are referred to specific rehabilitation groups, these include:

  • Pilates
  • OA (osteoarthritis) knee group
  • Upper limb rehabilitation
  • Lower limb rehabilitation
  • Post operative total hip and knee groups
  • Back school
  • Pain management programme

Specific services:

Non-acute pain service – we have physiotherapists trained in the treatment of non-acute pain who work closely with the pain management team at Tameside Hospital. Our service offers individual treatment sessions and a physiotherapy led pain management programme. The latter is a group programme which takes place over a number of weeks and includes hydrotherapy if appropriate. We also provide a ‘Back School’ class based programme which is a combination of education and appropriate level of exercise. This programme aims to empower individuals and help them to improve their control of their symptoms in activities of daily living.

Post-operative breast surgery rehabilitation – we provide a specialist service for patients who lose shoulder movement following breast surgery. This service is run in liaison with the in-patient and Macmillan teams.

Continence – we have a specialist continence physiotherapist working closely with gynaecology, urology and colorectal teams. Referrals are taken for men and women with bladder and bowel dysfunction as well as women with pelvic floor weakness following childbirth or with symptomatic pelvic organ prolapsed (POP). Treatment starts with a full continence assessment including post-void residual volume bladder scanning, urine testing, bladder habit appraisal and pelvic floor muscle assessment. Aims of treatment include reduction of incontinence and/or symptoms of POP, improvement of pelvic floor muscle function, effective voiding/defaecation and control of bladder and bowel urgency.

Vestibular rehabilitation – this includes specialist assessment and treatment of primary and secondary vestibular dysfunction. This includes differential diagnosis and treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), balance re-training and confidence building.

Hand therapy – we have a specialist physiotherapist treating a wide variety of hand conditions including acute injuries and post-operative care. This includes the fabrication of splints when required.

OA (osteoarthritis) knee group – classes are offered to patients suffering with OA knees following initial assessment by a physiotherapist. The classes include education, advice, exercises and hydrotherapy to assist patients in the self management of this condition.

Gymnasium – there is a large well-equipped gym within the department used for the treatment of peripheral musculoskeletal conditions, specifically anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions, Achilles tendon rehab, shoulder surgery, fractures and dislocations, THR and TKR groups.

Rheumatology - we have specialist physiotherapists who work closely with the rheumatology team, offering assessment and treatment of a variety of conditions (including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and fibromyalgia). Treatments include injection therapy, hydrotherapy and splinting.

Pilates – we have staff who are APPI (Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute) trained in the teaching of Pilates, offering classes and individual sessions as appropriate.

Amputee rehabilitation – this includes a pre-screen/assessment in vascular clinic, post operative care during in-patient stay, assessment for prosthesis suitability then ongoing out-patient care and rehabilitation, gait re-education, balance and confidence building.

Walking aid clinic – we have a walk-in service for patients with a referral for the provision of walking aids e.g. crutches, sticks, frames. Patients are taught individually to use the equipment safely, including using stairs if appropriate. Referrals can be obtained from GPs or other appropriate health professional.


Inpatient physiotherapy services for admitted patients

Who are these services for?

Physiotherapy has been shown to benefit a wide range of patients including the following patient groups...

Physiotherapy works – STROKE:

The National Clinical guidelines for stroke document the beneficial impact of physiotherapy on the physical effects of stroke. Physiotherapy has a critical role to play in supporting patients diagnosed with a stroke, both during their hospital stay and when they leave hospital.

Physiotherapy works – FALLS:

Falling can be serious and frequent in people aged 65 and over. Physiotherapy can provide evidence-based exercise programmes, restore independence, provide tailored advice and reduce accidents through encouraging safe physical activity.

Physiotherapy works – DEMENTIA:

Physiotherapists work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to complete detailed, individual assessments which review the impairments, activity restrictions and functional limitations faced by people with dementia. Exercise can have a significant and positive impact on the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, improving cognitive function and mood which can reduce the need for pharmacological intervention. Physiotherapy interventions aim to improve quality of life for those with dementia.

Physiotherapy works – CRITICAL CARE:

Critical care is the specialised care of patients whose conditions are life threatening and who often require constant monitoring in intensive care units. Physiotherapists are uniquely qualified with skills and expertise to work with the assessment and management of respiratory complications, physical deconditioning and neuromuscular/musculoskeletal conditions. Early rehabilitation results in better functional independence on discharge from hospital as well as impacting on quality of life and hospital length of stay.

Physiotherapy works – COPD:

COPD patients often show significantly reduced skeletal muscle strength during hospitalisation due to a combination of factors. Exercise training has been shown to be safe and improves recovery in patients with COPD after an acute episode. Physiotherapists are an essential part of the multi-disciplinary team that addresses this issue, aiming to improve health and quality of life, reduce hospital length of stay and reduce the number of readmissions for people with COPD.

Information provided by: search: physiotherapy works (10/11/2011 – 17/11/2011)

Services provided

Physiotherapy for admitted patients in Tameside hospital provides 2 main services: Respiratory care and Rehabilitation.

Respiratory care may include breathlessness management, treatment of retained secretions and exercise-based therapy. Physiotherapy also plays a vital role in respiratory support ensuring that patients receive the right level of support for their breathing. Oxygen can be delivered in a variety of ways for therapeutic benefit and additional machines can be used to support breathing or to clear retained secretions. In addition the Non-invasive ventilation service is run to support unwell patients that have developed respiratory failure.

Rehabilitation covers a wide variety of services that are designed to treat patients whilst in the hospital with a variety of conditions including neurological patients, amputees, post-surgical patients, patients who have fallen and patients with reduced mobility due to being unwell. Intervention may include assessment and advice, facilitation of movement, therapeutic exercise and referring to other agencies on discharge. Physiotherapy plays an essential role in discharge planning and the team has developed close links with community services so that patients gain access to the help and support they require on discharge. Physiotherapists are keen to liaise with family members with the patient’s permission and a time can be arranged to meet via the nursing staff.

Patients can be referred by any professional within the hospital and at any time during their inpatient stay. Professionals are guided by a referral criterion that highlights which patients are most likely to benefit from therapy intervention. The physiotherapy team works closely with other professions to provide high quality care, including doctors, occupational therapists, nursing staff, social workers and dieticians.

Service Availability

Patients requiring emergency respiratory intervention can receive treatment at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Patients requiring rehabilitation will be seen within the week between 08.30 -16.00, Monday to Friday.

Patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of stroke are assessed by a physiotherapist within 72 hours of admission.

Service aims and pledges

The team has created a pledge to promote dignity, respect and equality. The pledge aims to achieve the following:

  • Effective communication
  • Patient participation in decision making
  • Dignity to maintain a patients feeling of worth, positive self-esteem and value.
  • All patients to be treated equally
  • Patient comfort
  • To ensure that a patient’s basic needs are met.


Specialist neurological physiotherapy is provided for patients presenting with a wide variety of acquired, congenital, hereditary and progressive conditions, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Guillain Barre syndrome, spinal cord and peripheral nerve lesions.

We have close links with neurologists, consultants in rehabilitation medicine, specialist nurses and specialist units. We provide ongoing treatment for as long as recovery persists. There is a focus on self management, education, return to function, employment and leisure activity. The service is flexible to meet unpredictable demands due to the nature of many of the conditions treated.


Cardiac rehabilitation

Physiotherapy Bikes
Specialist physiotherapists provide functional capacity assessments, exercise prescription and cardiac rehabilitation classes which include education sessions for a range of patients. This caters for a variety of fitness levels ranging from chair based exercise programmes for patients with heart failure through to high level cardiovascular gym based exercises. Rehab is also provided for patients with implantable devices such as pacemakers and ICDs (Implantable Cardiac Devices). Patients are encouraged to exercise safely and with the correct progression, they are then referred on to exercise classes within the community. There is close liaison with other cardiology specialist services.



We have specialist physiotherapists who work closely with the rheumatology team, offering assessment and treatment of a variety of conditions (including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and fibromyalgia). Treatments include injection therapy, hydrotherapy and splinting.



Staff - 1 x extended scope practitioner
This Service involves working closely with our orthopaedic consultants. Providing a comprehensive assessment and swift patient journey through the system. The aim is to help decrease waiting times and consultant lists.


Chronic pain

Staff - 1 x Clinical Specialist
This aim of this post is to work closely with the hospital pain clinic providing a service for those patients suffering with Chronic Pain.


Good Practice

  • Patient satisfaction was noted on Ward 45 regarding nursing, physiotherapy, and food.
  • Good practice was observed in elective orthopaedic, and in surgical wards.
  • The orthopaedic pathways were well managed.
  • There was good rapport with the physiotherapists and the occupational therapists.
  • On the Stroke Unit, the note-keeping of therapists and nurses is of a high standard.
  • Patient satisfaction was noted on Ward 45 regarding nursing, physiotherapy, and food.