Physiotherapy and osteopathy services


Review of physiotherapy and osteopathy services in Southwark

In early 2013 the provision of physiotherapy and osteopathy in Southwark was reviewed.  The review found that as well as the provision of physiotherapy as hospitals, several GP surgeries also provided physiotherapy or osteopathy services. 

Making sure patients across Southwark can access services

Commissioners concluded that the provision of physiotherapy and osteopathy within the community was inequitable.  It was therefore agreed that locality based hubs would developed in order for patients to receive a more equal opportunity for receiving appropriate community based care. Commissioners highlighted the importance of ensuring that any future services were in line with our principles:

  • Patients should have consistent access to high quality care, including enhanced services, regardless of where in the borough they live
  • Services should be safe, evidence-based and focused on improving outcomes for patients
  • Services should target health inequalities
  • Services should be patient centred, seamless and accessible
  • Where services can be effectively provided out of hospital and closer to patients' homes, they should be

What local people told us

We held an event on 25 September to talk to patients about their experiences to help shape our plans. It was primarily attended by patients who are currently registered with practices that offer a range of osteopathy Services therefore some of these patients were concerned that some of the current therapies may no longer be available.  However, unsurprisingly a small number who were not registered at these practices were pleased to hear that some additional osteopathy therapies may now be available to them on the NHS.

Some attendees also highlighted concerns with the quality of service and waiting times for physiotherapy at King's and therefore local community provision was appealing.

Patients found practice based therapies were more personable; patients felt they were listened to and given more time to discuss the condition.

Next steps

Currently no decisions have been made. The next step for our review is to prepare a report, which will include patients’ feedback about their experiences of services, as well as analysis of activity and clinical evidence. Once the report is finalised it will be discussed with the CCG Governing Body who will make a decision regarding the services patients can access.