at 3 Way Healthcare
Although 3 Way Healthcare is a private practice, we are also able to provide NHS treatments. We are one of the preferred providers of MSK ( Musculo Skeletal ) Physiotherapy for Brookside Group Practice, Parkside Practice and Woodley Surgery, and can also receive referrals from any other GP practices in the West Berkshire area.
As an NHS patient, you will need a referral from your GP in order to set up an appointment. The physiotherapist will thoroughly assess you during your first appointment and determine the most appropriate course of action, which may involve specific exercises or further physiotherapy treatments. The process is described in more detail below.
If you are referred for physiotherapy on the NHS, you have the choice of which approved physiotherapy practice you visit. It may be that you prefer to have your treatment at a practice more local to your work area for example. Your GP can let you know what your choices are.
Around 20% of all GP apointments are related to Musculo Skeletal problems, and many will benefit from Physiotherapy assessment or treatment.
The sections below detail how our NHS physiotherapy services operate, what you need to do and what you can expect from the process.
How do I get a Physiotherapy referral?
If you have a joint or muscle problem, make an appointment with your GP. For most problems, they will initially give you some advice and exercises, and if this does not resolve your problem will then refer you for physiotherapy treatment if they feel that it will help.
How do I make an appointment?
If you are a patient of Brookside, Parkside or Woodley Surgeries, you will be given a form to fill in to give us more information about your condition which you then leave at your GP surgery.
After 3 or 4 days (in order to give us time to process your paperwork), you then need to phone our 3 Way Healthcare Woodley practice (01189692299 /0118969485) to make an appointment at the location and time of your choice.
Full details of how to make an appointment will be in a letter attached to your referral form. Please note that for these practices, we will not contact you to make an appointment, and if you do not phone us to make an appointment or complete your referral form within a month of your GP referral, you will be discharged.
If you are a patient from another practice or from the Hospital, we will have received your referral and will contact you to make an appointment at our Headley Road clinic.
Once we have received your referral, we will assess it to see if we consider if it is a routine or urgent problem. If we consider you need to be seen soon, we will contact you to arrange an appointment regardless of which practice you have been referred from.
What conditions are covered?
To see the range of conditions we cover, go to our Treatments and Healthcheck pages on our website.
Our NHS treatments are for MSK problems only, we do not treat Neurological conditions, Women’s Health (except for Ante and post-natal MSK problems) or carry out domiciliary visits on the NHS.
For children under 15 we can only accept a referral if we feel it is appropriate after a review.
Where will I have my treatment?
We carry out most of our treatments at our Woodley Practice at Headley Road, but also hold clinics at Brookside Practice, Gypsy Lane, Lower Earley, and Woodley Surgery, Headley Road, Woodley.
At our Headley Road Clinic we can offer a wider choice of treatment times and days – at the GP surgeries, we have more limited availability.
How long will I wait for an appointment?
Generally our wait times for an initial assessment/treatment are no longer than 4 weeks, although this occasionally rises during holiday/busy periods.
After your initial assessment, any follow up treatments will be arranged in a time frame that your therapist feels appropriate for your problem.
Please note, the wait time is for your initial appointment only and if you feel you cannot wait that long, you can pay for an initial private appointment and be seen sooner – subsequent appointments would then be on the NHS.
If you have private medical insurance, you may prefer to use this for your treatment – this will allow you more choice of treatment times and more treatments.
What will happen during my treatment?
At your initial appointment, your physiotherapist will fully assess you, decide what your problem is, explain your condition to you and devise an appropriate treatment programme for you.
This may be a course of manual treatment, an exercise programme or joining one of our classes. Your treatment programme will be exactly tailored to your problem.
You may be asked to remove some items of clothing so that the physiotherapist can fully look at your problem, so we would ask that you dress in loose and appropriate clothing.
How many treatments can I expect?
The number of treatments we can allocate on the NHS are limited – the demand is very high and as such the emphasis with NHS treatment is enabling you to treat yourself, so the exercise programme you will be given is the most important part of your treatment.
As such, your compliance is a vitally important part of the treatment, and if you do not do so, or fail to attend an appointment, you will be discharged back to your GP.
Any manual treatments we decide to give you will be aimed at increasing your range of movement or reducing your pain levels so that you can do your exercises better.
On average, if hands-on physiotherapy is required, patients receive up to 4 treatments – some need less, some more. If we feel you need more than 4 treatments, we will have to go back to your GP to get further authorisation.
Do I have a choice of which physiotherapist I see?
When you make an appointment, you will be allocated a physiotherapist at a time slot suitable for you, and as much as possible, we will ensure you see the same physiotherapist for the whole of your course of treatment. There are occasions where (For example, if you need a specialist treatment, or if your physiotherapist is away or ill), you may be transferred to another physiotherapist.
We have both female and male Physiotherapists, so if you have a preference, please tell the receptionist when you book your appointment.
What happens if I don't understand what I am being told?
As your compliance is a vitally important part of the treatment, it is important that you understand what the physiotherapist is explaining to you and that you do your exercises regularly and correctly.
If you do not understand, please raise any questions with your physiotherapist.
If you have a language problem, we do have physiotherapists fluent in other languages, so please ask to see one of those, or you may wish to bring an interpreter with you.
What happens if the treatment doesn't solve my problem?
At 3 Way Healthcare, we have had close links with all the local GP’s for over 20 years, so are able to communicate with them directly and quickly if we feel you are not responding to treatment and need further investigations to arrange this.
This might be after your first assessment or after a course of treatment, but any onward referral would be totally appropriate for your condition.