Physiotherapy Department

What is Physiotherapy? Physiotherapy is a health care profession with an emphasis on the use of physical approaches for the promotion of health and the prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability. It is the fourth largest healthcare profession in the world and addresses problems with movement, dysfunction and pain. These can arise from musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory, and chronic disability conditions, or from mental illness and intellectual impairment. The physiotherapy department in NGH strives to provide an in-patient and out-patient service that is based on high standards of care and quality. Staff work closely with medical, nursing and other allied health staff. Goals are achieved through comprehensive assessment with individualised treatment combining education, continuous support, home exercise programmes and advice, using knowledge from our extensive scientific background of human anatomy and physiology to provide optimum quality patient care and there is a strong commitment to the philosophy of multidisciplinary work.

Service Provision

Service Provision:
Only Chartered Physiotherapists can work in Irish Hospitals. A Chartered Physiotherapist is eligible for membership of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP Chartered Physiotherapists are independent practitioners who work within the multidisciplinary hospital team in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients.
The physiotherapy Department in Naas General Hospital consists of a Physiotherapy Manager, Senior Physiotherapists, a Practice Tutor, Basic Grade Physiotherapists, a Physiotherapy Attendant and clerical officers.
Senior physiotherapists oversee the services for each of the specialities. Staff physiotherapists work on four monthly rotations in each of the areas.
The department provides physiotherapy services to Naas General Hospital and to the General Practitioners in the Kildare/West Wicklow area. GP who are signed up to the Primary Care Teams (PCT) refer their patients directly to the Community physiotherapy Service, St Marys, Craddockstown Road.
The Physiotherapy Department has links with University College Dublin Trinity College Dublin and offers clinical placements for their students. A Practice Tutors work on site to support and facilitate the clinical education of these students. A small number of students from other colleges are also offered placements.

Services Provided:
The physiotherapy department offers a comprehensive range of treatments within its outpatient department and for patients who are in patients within the hospital.

Outpatient Service

Cardiac Rehabilitation: A 6 -8 week multidisciplinary programme, in which physiotherapists and nurses provide a service for patients who have suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction), undergone angioplasty or bypass surgery. Referral is via the cardiac rehabilitation co-ordinator or consultant.

The aim of treatment is to:

- help you understand your heart condition

- educate and support you to make lifestyle changes

- encourage you to take regular exercise

- reduce stress in your life

- help you to manage your angina

- help restore your confidence

- return to work if applicable

The exercise class involves using equipment such as rowing machines, exercises bikes, treadmill, arm exerciser and basketballs. The programme is designed for your individual needs.
Educational sessions given by the physiotherapist include exercising safely and relaxation.

Day Hospital: The physiotherapy service in the day hospital is available for patients over the age of 65 who have been referred by the geriatrician with, disorders of the nervous system, musculoskeletal dysfunction, history of falls/imbalance. The Day Hospital provides a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment and treatment of the older persons living in the community. It helps to prevent admissions to hospital and enables the person to remain at home for as long as possible. Referral is via consultant teams in NGH and local GPs

Emergency Department (ED): Physiotherapist provides assessment and advice to musculo-skeletal patients (joint and muscular injuries) attending ED and follow-up, if necessary.

Musculoskeletal: Assessment, education and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders, in particular orthopaedics and rheumatology, as individual treatment or in a group (e.g. patients with back pain, rehabilitation following a broken bone, shoulder pain).

Neurology: The neurology outpatient service is available for persons with disorders of the nervous system e.g. stroke, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease etc. Referral is via hospital consultants or physiotherapists or GPs of patients who reside in Kildare/West Wicklow. Treatment usually involves training/teaching persons how to maintain their independence with functional mobility tasks including standing, walking, getting in and out of bed etc. The physiotherapist and patient set short and long term goals appropriate to the patients’ previous lifestyle and home environment.

Orthopaedic Clinics: Assessment, advice and exercises provided to patients immediately when cast removed following a fracture (broken bone) or other trauma. Patients can be referred from here to other physiotherapy services if necessary.

Orthotics: Assessment and treatment for leg, foot and potentially back pain. Provision of prescription insoles (orthotics) and custom made orthotics made from taking a plaster cast of the foot if necessary.

Pain Clinic: offers patients a Multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach to the assessment and management of chronic musculoskeletal and rheumatology conditions.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Retraining of pelvic musculature is available for patients with urinary incontinence to help with bladder l control. Treatment may involve

- Pelvic floor exercises,

- Vaginal weights,

- Biofeedback,

- Bladder retraining ,

- Electrical stimulation (including home weights)

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Patients with chronic lung disease attend a multidisciplinary exercise and education programme aimed at improving their quality of life, exercise tolerance and lung function.

Women’s Health: This service provides assessment and treatment of women’s health problems, through life stages (Pregnancy, post natal, post surgery, menopause). Referral to this outpatient service is via consultant or GP.

Inpatient Service

In patient Rehabilitation Rehabilitation is provided for patients presenting with a variety of general medical problem which may cause decreased mobility and independence. The aim of treatment is to return the patient to optimal physical function through individual exercise programmes (to be continued at home) and appropriate mobility programmes. This may involve the prescription of mobility aids as deemed necessary by the physiotherapist.

Neurology Patients are initially assessed on the wards, following referral from their consultant. They receive specialised rehabilitation on the wards or in the gym based on the needs of their condition.

Respiratory The respiratory physiotherapy service provides a service for patients whose respiratory system has been compromised by trauma, surgery or illness. It covers the Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Observation unit, as well as wards and Lakeview unit. The aims of treatment are:

· prevention and treatment of post operative respiratory complications

· promotion of self management of respiratory conditions

· treatment of respiratory infections, exacerbations of COPD etc.

Treatment may involve:
· breathing exercises

· positioning

· expectoration techniques (how to cough)

· exercise testing / prescription

· advice, education

· mobilisation, prescription of mobility aids

Stroke Unit This 9 bedded unit offers specialist rehabilitation to patients following a stroke.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access outpatient physiotherapy services?
Patients require a doctor's referral to see a physiotherapist in NGH. This can be from their GP or from consultant teams within the hospital. On receipt of your doctor’s letter your referral will be assessed by a senior physiotherapist and prioritised as urgent or routine. Your name will then be placed on our waiting list. Your waiting time can vary from a few days to weeks depending on the nature of your condition.

How will I be contacted with my appointment details?
The physiotherapy receptionist will contact you by telephone or letter when your name moves to the top of the waiting list. You will be facilitated as far as possible with your preference for a morning / afternoon appointment or for a particular day.

Is there parking available?
Pay parking is available for patients on the hospital grounds. When attending for an appointment it is easiest to get to the physiotherapy department by entering the hospital through the old hospital entrance.

What do I do when I arrive in the department?
Please check in with the receptionist. She will direct you to the waiting area where you may take a seat.

Will I be seen on time?
Yes, we work to appointment times so you will be seen at the allotted time. If you have been waiting for ten minutes without an explanation, please make your presence known to the secretary. Should there be a delay we will try to keep you informed.

How long will the appointment last?
The initial assessment will take 30 minutes. Further appointments are generally 30 minutes, but it may vary with certain conditions. You will be asked about your problem and then examined using a variety of tests. You will be provided with an explanation of the assessment, and treatment possibilities will be discussed with you. Follow-up appointments usually take 30 minutes. You will be given a choice of appointment times.

What should I wear?
You will have a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your complaint. The physiotherapist will need to examine your posture and movement and will ask you to expose the affected part of your body. It would be helpful to bring shorts or loose clothing if you are attending with a back, hip or knee problem and a string vest top if attending with a neck or shoulder problem.

Do I need to bring anything else?
Please bring a list of any medication you are taking and a copy of results of any relevant investigations and tests. If you usually need reading glasses please bring them also as you may be asked to complete a questionnaire to help with your rehabilitation.

What should I do if I cannot attend an appointment?
Please contact the department (tel no. 849941/849942) as soon as you become aware that you will not be able to keep the appointment. It is important to give us at least 24 hours notice so that we may offer the appointment to someone else. It you fail to attend for any appointment, you will be discharged from the physiotherapy service unless you contact the department within ten days to reschedule. If you fail to attend any 2 appointments you will be discharged from the physiotherapy service. If you fail to attend for any appointment without prior notification, you will be discharged from our service unless you contact the department within ten days.

General Information

Continuing Professional Development
Physiotherapy staff ensure their knowledge and skills are in line with evidence based practice through Continuing Professional Development. The Physiotherapy Department places a strong emphasis on encouraging CPD of staff in line with the ISCP recommendations. Regular in-service training, clinical supervision, peer learning, complex patient education sessions and mandatory training schemes are in place. An education committee meet regularly within the department. Staff are encouraged to attend and present at relevant courses and conferences. A formal appraisal system for therapists is in place, along with opportunities to complete personal development plans.

All posts in the Physiotherapy Department NGH advertised and recruited through the National Recruitment Service (NRS) of the HSE. The details required for the NRS talent pool are the following:

Email address
Mobile phone number
Please forward these details to Candidates will be notified of campaigns relevant to them. CVs should not be sent to this email address. All non Republic of Ireland graduates must be validated by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) ( prior to employment.

Useful Links

Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists
Chartered Society of Physiotherapists UK
Services for citizens in general
Arthritis Foundation of Ireland
Irish Heart Foundation
Multiple Sclerosis
Headway Ireland
Volunteer Stroke Scheme
Spinal Injuries Action Association
National Council on Aging and Older People
Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland
Irish Carers Association
Pakinsons Association of Ireland
Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association
Asthma Society of Ireland
Irish pain Society
Assist Ireland, Citizens Information Board

Ground floor Old Hospital building,
(045) 849 942
(045) 897 201 – fax
Hours of Service
  • Mon-Fri
    8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.