Occupational Health Physiotherapy Service - fast track service


07 / 10 / 2011

The organisation

What we did and why

How we did it

Results and next steps

Contact details


The organisation

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a first-wave foundation trust, one of just ten trusts in the country awarded foundation trust status in 2004. It serves a population of over 410,000 people in the areas covered by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Bassetlaw District Council, as well as from parts of North Derbyshire, Barnsley, Rotherham, and north-west Lincolnshire, employing approximately 5200 staff.

What we did and why

The service is based within the Occupational Health (OH) Department. This allows for on-going communication with other members of the OH team and facilitates joint assessment of management referrals for musculoskeletal problems. Comments from the OH advisors include:

  • “it makes it much easier being able to discuss the situation of each client face to face”
  • “it makes my responses to management more clinically- based”
  • “it makes return to work safer as the physio can make a full functional assessment”
  • “worksite visits are enhanced with combined expertise to assist managers and staff”
  • “we now have the facility to clinically assess the individual – before if they said they had a bad back, I had to accept that”

How we did it

Most employees self-refer to the service in the early stages of a problem. The service provides largely a brief intervention with an average of 2.4 attendances per case.

Employees needing further or more specialised rehabilitation can be directed into the musculoskeletal service or be referred into the orthopaedic pathway via the trust’s orthopaedic physiotherapy practitioners.

Results and next steps

81% of employees using the service who were working said that the service saved them taking time off work.
  • Of the employees who were off work when starting treatment 86% said that it enabled them to return to work sooner.
  • The number of staff able to work normal duties without their symptoms affecting them rose from 8% to 41%
  • The proportion of employees with moderate to severe restriction of function dropped from 45% to 6%.
  • On referral, 59% of employees were doing full duties and this rose to 83%. As this is a brief intervention service employees may still be on a phased return or modified duties at the time of discharge.
  • Contacts

    Merrin Froggett

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