The BSMHFT Physiotherapy team is an integral part of the multidisciplinary team providing specialist assessment and treatment for those suffering with complex and enduring mental and physical health conditions. We aim to provide a Physiotherapy service using a holistic and person centred approach, promoting health education and independence and working towards rehabilitation and recovery. We work alongside health instructors in promoting the considerable benefits of physical activity for both mental and physical health.


Referrals should be made via Rio under “Corporate Services – Nursing/AHP”

What do physiotherapists do in mental health services?

Physiotherapy aims to empower service users to work towards personalised physical health goals. Treatments we use include:

  • Strength and balance work for falls prevention
  • Prescription of exercises to improve mobility and functional movement, prevent deterioration and improve exercise tolerance
  • Assessment and treatment of joint and muscle pain including advice regarding posture management
  • Non-pharmacological management of pain – including ice, heat, manual techniques, acupuncture and TENs
  • Respiratory management – including inhaler technique, use of nebulisers, sputum clearance, breathing techniques and pulmonary rehabilitation with graded exercise.
  • Rehabilitation – from effects of disease, treatment or injury. Where functional ability is unlikely to be restored we recognise the value of adaptive and supportive rehabilitation
  • Expert advice on movement, handling and positioning including assessment and prescription of equipment to support mobility
  • Monitoring effects on movement of medication
  • Exercise promotion, offering a variety of movement activity and proactively encouraging participation, working towards national guidelines of physical activity

How do we know physiotherapy works?

NICE endorses the importance of physical activity as a way to promote good health and prevent disease. Further to this, NICE recommends structured exercise programmes tailored to individual need to manage, and for rehabilitation after, certain health conditions, including:

Low back pain, obesity, chronic heart failure, myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome

The contribution of specialist physiotherapy assessment and treatment is recognised in national guidance on dementia, hip fracture, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, frailty.

Chartered Society of physiotherapy

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