Physiotherapy clinic increases resources to cope with demand as NHS works to tackle record backlogs for routine ops

A physiotherapy and sports injury clinic saw an influx of patients requesting acupuncture amid the pandemic as NHS waiting lists for planned operations grew to record levels.

Staff at SB Physio and Sports Injury Clinic in Shifnal say they have been busy applying acupuncture needles to help relieve the pain of musculoskeletal problems.

Bosses say they are seeing patients who are awaiting treatment from the NHS and the clinic has increased resources to cope with demand.

There are tens of thousands of patients awaiting routine treatment in Shropshire, with numbers spiralling during the coronavirus outbreak as staff were redeployed to help battle Covid-19 on the frontline.

Steve Briggs

This year the Shifnal clinic says it had an influx of new patients after reopening when the national lockdown ended.

Clinic owner Steve Briggs said: “In the past few months we have seen patient confidence grow in line with Covid vaccination levels, and to meet the additional demand created by a hole in NHS services our levels of staffing and available clinic appointments have also been increased, to the highest ever.

“As well as now having five fully qualified physios working in the clinic, we are offering more diverse treatments, including acupuncture and sports massage.

"This holistic approach ensures patients achieve the highest possible level of pain relief, as sometimes mixing and matching treatments can elicit a better response from the body.

“Despite a general easing of restrictions, we have continued to maintain the infection control guidance that has been in place throughout the pandemic, including full PPE and social distancing, as there is no doubt that people prefer face to face consultations and it is important that we keep them safe.

"But for those patients who still do not feel comfortable with visiting, we will continue to offer zoom consultations.”

Last month, health bosses at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, said they were working to keep patients informed and up to date about their waits for routine procedures and operations.

During a board meeting last month, the trust's chief operating officer, Nigel Lee said: "We've been working very closely with our local primary care leaders and we have a regular report which goes on a monthly basis at this stage.

"That means that GPs are then able to refer to a quick reference guide to work with patients and their families from the outset about expectations for certain areas.

"We are still prioritising anything urgent, including cancer pathways."

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