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Physiotherapy outpatients

Click on the boxes below to find out more about our teams and services.



A team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists, including specialist physiotherapists, work in this department and in orthopaedic and rheumatology clinics alongside consultants.

There are specialist physiotherapists in shoulders, hands, knees and hips, and hydrotherapy as well as rheumatology and women's health. Referrals are mostly received from consultants at Royal Berkshire, but a number of patients are referred from GPs for specialist physiotherapy opinion and treatment.

We treat people of any age although paediatric patients will be seen by the paediatric physiotherapy team where more appropriate.

Treatment is provided in group or individual sessions in our gym and department, women's health rooms and hydrotherapy pool.

Treatment can include advice, exercise programmes, manual therapy, acupuncture, taping, pilates, hand splinting and electrotherapy.

Our aim is to facilitate patients' recovery and enable them to return to normal activities and sport where required.


Hydrotherapy pool

This facility allows us to provide physiotherapy treatment based in warm water for a variety of different conditions.►


The temperature is usually between 33-36 degrees, with a minimum temperature of 32 degrees. The focus of the exercises is slow controlled movements and relaxation to help with range of movement or strength and can be adjusted depending on your symptoms.


Our hydrotherapy pool is used by inpatient groups during weekdays but is also available to rent out of hours to support local groups/charities.


If you are interested in arranging regular us of our hydrotherapy pool of an evening, please contact Jon Lee, Professional Lead of Therapies jonathan.lee@royalberkshire.nhs.uk


February 2018 update

We have recently undertaken a costly refurbishment of the pool and elements of the engineering plant that support it. We are currently renting a temporary boiler to support the pool. Whilst this is more reliable we are struggling to maintain the local temperature of the pool leading to inconsistent availability. Unfortunately, the main boiler plant for the hospital, which serves the pool, requires some major work. This work can only be scheduled during the warmer months. We anticipate we will continue to experience reliability issues over the next six months or so and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. 


June 2018 update

The pool is open and functioning fully to inpatients, outpatients and external local groups. Currently the hoist used for those patients who have difficulty getting in and out of the pool via the stairs is unavailable. This is due to corrosion damage on the base plate, which means it would not be appropriate to use. We are in the process of addressing this issue and hope to have it restored as quickly as possible.


A rehabilitation service is provided for lower limb amputees, both as inpatients and outpatients..►

The out-patient amputees must have the potential to use a prosthetic limb, or be an established prosthetic limb user who requires specialist physiotherapy input. The service is run by a specialist physiotherapist and referrals can be made by Consultants, GPs and other allied health professionals.

 A rehabilitation group runs twice a week in the therapy gym located in Outpatient Therapies, Battle Block. There is a large gymnasium with lots of therapy equipment available including therapy beds, gym balls, parallel bars, weights and exercise machines. There are also early walking aids that can be used for assessment and for practising walking and gait re-education as appropriate. This means people can get used to walking with a lower limb amputation in preparation for a prosthetic leg. 

The group also focuses on muscle strengthening, range of movement, assessment and progression of transfer methods, care of the amputated leg including wound management, reducing post-operative swelling, and the management of Phantom Limb Pain. Care of the remaining leg and promoting a healthy lifestyle are also important factors.

The therapists work closely with the prosthetic team at the Oxford Centre for Enablement, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and also the podiatry and vascular teams at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. This is to ensure continuity of care and a patient focused service.


Our service provides outpatient help for anyone with neurological conditions in the west Berkshire area. 

Patients can be referred to the service via GP, Consultant or other Health Professional. Working closely with other community services (both healthcare and voluntary sector), we want to maximise your independence and quality of life. Treatment is mainly carried out within our gym in Battle Block, and we run various groups here throughout the week. We also have access to the hydrotherapy pool. Battle Block Outpatients and Therapies, Level 1 Battle Block, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Craven Road, RG1 5AN. 0118 322 8545.




Rheumatology physiotherapy

Our service provides specialist assessment and physiotherapy treatment for all types of rheumatological conditions. 

We provide specialist assessment and physiotherapy treatment for all types of rheumatological conditions in the outpatient physiotherapy department.

Our specialist physiotherapist also works in the rheumatology clinics alongside the rheumatology consultants.

If you have been recently been diagnosed with an inflammatory arthritis you will have an individual session with the specialist physiotherapist and occupational therapist (sessions held at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and at the West Berkshire Community Hospital). You will then have an assessment, followed by advice and education about your condition. 

Information booklets and support group contact details are provided to help you understand your condition and learn how to self manage. 

Physiotherapy assessment includes an examination of all the joints and muscles, noting how any problems affect daily activities and function. Attention is also paid to other issues such as tiredness and stiffness. 

Treatment includes advice and education, individually-tailored exercises, manual therapy, hydrotherapy and electrotherapy.


Shoulder and elbow physiotherapy

Our service provides specialist care for patients with various shoulder and/or elbow conditions. 

Our service provides specialist care for anyone with various shoulder and/or elbow conditions. 

Our team works in the outpatient physiotherapy department as well as in specialist shoulder and elbow clinics. 

We work closely with the orthopaedic consultants to carry out specialist assessment and treatment. 

Common conditions treated by the shoulder and elbow physiotherapy team include:

  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Rotator cuff dysfunction
  • Shoulder instability
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Muscular dysfunction at the shoulder girdle
  • Arthritic conditions associated with the shoulder
  • Post-shoulder fracture
  • Post-shoulder dislocation
  • Post-operative rotator cuff repairs
  • Post-operative shoulder surgery
  • Tennis/golfers elbow
  • Elbow fracture


Physiotherapy treatment for shoulder and elbow conditions is likely to involve;

  • education
  • mobilisation/strengthening exercises
  • core stability exercises
  • proprioception exercises
  • sports/ function specific exercises.


Manual therapy and electrotherapy techniques may also be used in addition to other treatments. 

Various post-operative groups take place to provide you with information and advice after surgery. 

We also run rehabilitation classes which you may be invited to attend if the physiotherapist feels that these may help you to reach your goals.

Women's health 

We offer assessment and treatment during pregnancy and following childbirth for the various conditions 

We offer assessment and treatment during Pregnancy and following childbirth for the following conditions; 

  • Pelvic Girdle Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during Pregnancy
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence
  • Urinary urgency and urge incontinence
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
  • Separation of abdominal muscles


Specialist physiotherapy group sessions offered: 

    • Pelvic girdle pain group- weekly on Wednesday afternoon (you will be seen earlier within 1-2 weeks of your referral from your GP/midwife/consultant and will be requested to book individual appointments after if needed). 


    • Antenatal hydrotherapy group- If you are referred to physiotherapy for pelvic girdle pain during Pregnancy, you will be assessed and offered hydrotherapy sessions if suitable. You are encouraged to attend the sessions throughout your pregnancy. 
    • Postnatal pilates group- If you are referred with separation of abdominal muscles following childbirth, you will be seen in the pilates group. You will be monitored regularly and your postnatal exercises will help you to return to fitness after birth.


Following the announcement that the hydrotherapy pool would close at the end of March 2017, the Board of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has agreed to defer the closure until 30 June 2017. During this period the pool will continue to be fully operational; the Trust will clarify its Clinical and Estates strategies in the relation to the hydrotherapy service and work with local partners to address questions raised by MPs and local patient representative groups. The Trust will also engage with existing users of the facility. At the same time it will work with local Clinical Commissioning Groups, other NHS partners and the local authority to explore future options for the hydrotherapy service.



    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
    Email us
    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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