Services for individuals
Welcome to our page for you, the client. You are the person for whom these services are ultimately for and we realise you may want a little more information about what may be involved before deciding to proceed.
So here is what we suggest:
1. Please make sure you have looked at our Services page which will give you a summary of what we do and how we do it.
2. Have a think about what it is you would like help and support with. Often our clients have seen other physiotherapists (and a range of other healthcare professionals) in the past, and in many cases have made good progress, but reach a point where they are asking themselves "is this it?"
If that is what you are wondering, take a few moments to think about what your goals would be for working with us - what would you like to be able to do that you are currently unable to do which is limiting your enjoyment or potential in life?
3. We can assure you we are properly qualified, registered, insured, and are lovely people but it's best to hear it from others who have worked with us!
4. Identify how you are likely to be referred and funded for your programme.
- Case manager or solicitor
If you are being referred by a case manager on behalf of an insurer or solicitor, or directly by your insurer or solicitor, then they will discuss with you why they think our services might suit you. Feel free to ask them more questions about us, and you can also contact us if you have additional questions. It is important to us that you understand why you are being referred and that our aim is to work WITH you on your recovery.
We are happy to discuss with you what the assessment involves and any report that is produced, and how we manage any confidential information.
5. If you decide you would like to have an assessment with us then please let your case manager or solicitor know that you would like to proceed.
Things to have ready for your assessment
- Any forms we have sent to you (don't worry if you haven't completed them)
- Any relevant letters or investigation results
- List of your current medications
- A notebook and pen
1How do I get referred?
You can be referred via a case manager, insurer or solicitor after a serious injury or accident. We can also accept referrals from others such as your consultant or a charity who is supporting you, but you would need to consider who would fund the assessment and any subsequent rehabilitation.
2Can I refer myself?
At the moment we do not accept direct self referrals, however, we are happy to have a conversation with you about how you can access our services.
3How are your services funded?
When you are referred by a case manager, insurer or solicitor as a result of an accident / injury you incurred it is likely that they will fund and pay for your sessions.
4Where can I see you?
We can visit you at home or work or another location depending on where that is and which physiotherapists are closest to your location.
5What do I need for my assessment?
Please have with you any of the forms we have sent to you in advance, where possible please complete these before hand (however, if you need help to complete them on the day or have any queries that is fine). Please have copies of any letters or investigation results that you feel are relevant, a list of your current medication, and a notebook and pen.
6What should I wear at my assessment?
Wear something that is comfortable. Wear layers so that you can add or remove as needed and keep warm. If part of your assessment is outdoors you will need a change of shoes, and suitable waterproofs and extra layers, hat and gloves according to the weather.
7What is involved in an assessment?
You should allow up to 3 hrs for our Designed2Move assessment, and possibly longer if we need to visit your workplace. Briefly the assessment involves you telling us your story, us asking you more questions, a physical examination and movement or functional testing (like showing us how you do certain things) and filling in some questionnaires. We may also want to look at you walking outdoors or other activities if relevant to you.
8What is involved in your recovery programmes?
We use a wide variety of techniques in our programmes depending on your needs and taking your preferences into account but remaining within evidence informed practices. Broadly you can expect to receive advice and support about a variety of factors affecting your health, but in particular pain education, support for learning pain management skills, exercises, physical activity advice, return to work or sport planning. At the end of your assessment we will discuss our recommendations with you and we can consider what needs to be included to meet your needs.
“Prior to meeting Heather Watson I have been on a long journey which has made me feel deskilled and has been stressful resulting in a lack of professional confidence and identity at work. The journey commenced in January 2011 when I became ill, I returned to work in September 2011 still suffering from two chronic conditions and I met Heather in July 2012. One seldom meets a professional who is such a credit to her profession and her employer. I appreciate that Heather has been involved in my rehabilitation and I feel she has literally changed my life personally and professionally for the better by imparting some of her wealth of knowledge to provide me with an exercise care pathway for use now and in the future. I have been empowered to undertake training at work. In addition she has given me the confidence to work towards minimising the possible effects of my conditions to enable me to move towards regaining my identity.”
“I’ve had my condition since February 2008. As a result I had major surgery, and a multitude of other interventions such as injections. I lost my job because of the pain and disability. I got used to people just doing things (medical interventions) to me. I had lost complete control of my life. It had ruined my family life. I felt completely alone and lost due to the pain. Because I had lost my job it was really hard to trust anyone to help me with my work problems. Heather gave me control back – she explained everything to me (about how my pain & my condition were controlling my life). She gave me the tools to keep control of my pain. She helped me to learn to say “no” to interventions I didn’t want anymore. She helped my reduced my medication. She gave me my family back. Thank you.”
“Dear Heather, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you a million times over and some more. Your support, help and encouragement has been invaluable to my and my family over the last 3 years. From day one with the initial injury, to nine lots of major surgery, steroid injections and now having to have my lower leg amputated within the next few months, I wouldn’t have had the strength or courage if it wasn’t for the amazing team (workplace managers, union, HR, Consultant) I’ve had supporting me through what has been a challenging 3 years for us all. The care and treatment you have given me has been above and beyond your job. Look at me now after my last surgery, all 48 stitches (ouch) out and back at work on crutches after just 4 weeks. I couldn’t wait to get back to work. The hardest thing when anybody has been off work is returning, don’t know how you’ve done it, but you’ve made that so much easier for me. That’s all thanks to yourself. People usually shiver when occ health is mentioned, and I was one I’ll admit. Not now…I cannot praise you enough for all that you have done. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
I came to Heather after an acute injury caused by lots of heavy lifting which is part of my job as a dry stone waller. I had aggravated nerves in my neck as a result of overuse of neck and upper back muscles, rather than stronger muscles further down my back and around my shoulder. I was in a lot of pain (shoulder and arm) and sleeping at night involved refilling hot water bottles every hour. Heather’s approach was holistic and there were 4 important things that I gained/learned from her during my rehabilitation. In the early stages, I had a lot of pain in my armpit (nerves congregate here) and at the start of my treatment Heather massively reduced the pain by manual therapy: using her skill to gently get my neck moving again which helped to settle the nerves. The “fake” (my terminology not Heather’s!) pain stage was the worst. I had been improving steadily for weeks when suddenly my pain worsened and I had to take painkillers and anti-inflammatories to cope, but they seemed to have little effect. Heather talked to me about centralised sensitisation (pain made worse by the brain amplifying it as a result of worry & tension, rather than the injured tissue) and I tried to understand how to make this knowledge work for me. I ended up desensitising my shoulder and arm through stroking, brushing and massaging the skin. Heather gave me exercises to do and for the first few weeks I did them daily, never getting better and always in pain, just to keep mobile. Eventually my nerve pain started to settle down, I finally started to gain some strength in my left shoulder and arm and was able to progress onto Heather’s varied and harder exercises, and practical lifting activities to rehabilitate myself prior to returning to work. The final stage was a gradual return to work. Being self-employed I was very keen to return to work, but the pain put me off. Heather gave me a graduated return to work, starting with doing some basic walling practice for half an hour, working to half days with alternating days off; gradually increasing the length of day or the number of consecutive days. I have now returned to full time work and the whole process went smoothly with no set-backs. One of my worst fears was not being able to return to my very physical job and without Heather helping me at every stage, this was very likely to have happened. Heather gave me the pain relief, exercises, knowledge and reassurance to help myself get better. She has also helped alter my approach to exercising for the future.