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Your experience is important to us and helps us to make sure our services provide excellent care. If you have any comments or queries about our services please see our contact us section.

Making a difference

FAQ

Q: Where will my assessment take place?
A: This will depend on your individual needs and problems. Assessment can take place as an outpatient at the hospice gym, in the day hospice, on the ward or if needed in your own home.

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Q: How many sessions will I have?
A: The number of physiotherapy sessions you require will depend on your condition and how it is best managed for you and will be agreed between you and your physiotherapist.

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Q: How long will each session last?
A: This will be dependant on the reason for your referral and the initial assessment will normally last between 30 and 60 minutes. Subsequent follow up sessions, if necessary, are often shorter.

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Q: I would like to request a chaperone
A: Both you and the physiotherapist have the right to request a chaperone for all or some of the treatment sessions. If you require a chaperone please let us know when you make the appointment as we will need time to organise this.

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Q: How do I make an appointment?
A: To access the service patients must have a palliative diagnosis therefore referral must come from a healthcare professional or your GP. If you are already a Wisdom Hospice patient you can refer yourself either by telephoning the physiotherapy department on 01634 830456 or by email medch.ahps@nhs.net >

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Q: What is Motor Neurone Disease?
A: Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. Degeneration of the motor neurones leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.

While physiotherapy cannot reverse damage to muscle groups weakened by MND, it can help to keep weakened muscles as strong as possible through exercise

Physiotherapy can also:
  • keep you mobile for as long as possible by preventing muscles from becoming stiff
  • help maintain maximum range of movement (ROM)
  • help maintain comfort and reduce problems associated with muscle weakness
  • strengthen muscle groups not yet affected by MND (which can help to compensate for those that have weakened or wasted)
  • help maintain circulation through active muscle movement. Each person with MND is affected in a unique and unpredictable way.
For more information see www.mndassociation.org >

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Q: What is Progressive supranuclear palsy?
A: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a Parkinson’s-like neurological condition caused by the premature loss of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Over time this leads to difficulties with balance, movement, vision, speech and swallowing.

For more www.pspassociation.org.uk >

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Q: What is Multiple Systems Atrophy?
A: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects adult men and women. It is caused by degeneration or atrophy of nerve cells in several (or multiple) areas of the brain which can result in problems with movement, balance and autonomic functions of the body such as bladder and blood pressure control.

For more information see www.msatrust.org.uk >

Physiotherapy can help people with PSP and MSA to maintain good co-ordination, range of movement and mobility. We can advise on exercises to help muscles, posture and minimise the stiffening of joints. We can also work with people as they adjust to changes in mobility. We might also be involved in supporting someone who has difficulties with breathing and coughing. Physiotherapists can also offer advice on aids that may help, such as walking frames or specially designed shoes.

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Q: What is Steroid induced proximal myopathy?
A: This is a poorly understood and researched condition where use of corticosteroids as part of cancer treatment causes weakness of the muscles particularly around the hip and diaphragm. The only definitive way for this to improve is through stopping the steroids but for some patients this is not possible. Therefore the physiotherapist can implement a strengthening programme to try to maintain the strength and function that the person has.

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Q: What is a Orthoses?
A: An orthosis is an externally applied device designed to control alignment of a joint or correct or accommodate a deformity. In our service these are most often used for patients with neurological conditions and include foot splints, hand splints and neck collars. For complex problems patients will be referred to the orthotist at Medway Maritime Hospital.

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Q: What is Functional rehabilitation?
A: In the context of palliative care, functional rehabilitation is simply about achieving optimal function for a patient in order that they can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. For many patients this will simply be practising functional movements such as sit to stand or mobilising within the home in order to achieve their goals.

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Q: What is TENS?
A: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a method of pain relief involving the use of a mild electrical current.

A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes. You attach the pads directly to your skin. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of your body, which you feel as a tingling sensation.

The electrical impulse scan reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles. They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers.

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Q: What is Acupuncture?
A: In palliative care most research so far has focused on helping the side-effects of orthodox cancer treatments, and on relieving pain. In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

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