Physio: How to choose the perfect Private Physio with 7 questions to ask BEFORE you go ahead and hire one - Paul Gough Physio Rooms

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Physio: How to choose the perfect Private Physio with 7 questions to ask BEFORE you go ahead and hire one

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If you are thinking of going to see a Private Physio at any times soon, or are even curious about how one maybe able to help, here are my 7 “tips” for finding the best one (that means one that is “just right for you”):

1.) Ask the Physio if they use their “HANDS” – important because if you’re wanting relief from things like joint pain and muscle tension, there’s no better way to achieve it than by using expert techniques such as massage, PNF stretching and joint realignment that must be done by hand. My clients are assured of at least 85% of their time with me being “hands-on”. Anything less and I’d not be offering them value for their money.

Exercises, tips and what to do away from the physio room are important, but as a Private Physio you can talk clients through their home help tips and D.I.Y tactics whilst and at the same time you’re providing hands on care. You don’t have to both sit in a seat to do that.

And as for exercises, well, at my clinic we have a huge database of exercises designed by our in-house Exercise Scientist that come with full instructions and easy to follow pictures. And sure, we run through them in clinic with clients just to make sure they’re being done right and they’re understood, but that doesn’t take very long. Nearly all of the time in any 30 or 60 minute session, is allocated to providing the hands on care that clients want and need (and are paying for).

2.) Ask if they have another job – a big problem in the Physio industry is that many of the “Private Physios” have other jobs. Most still work for the NHS and as you heard in “Matts” story in the previous section, that doesn’t make for a great Physio who has your best interests at heart. It’s usually just another “job” for that Physio, where income is at the front and centre of what they do and why they do it (not a long term relationship with clients AND their family and friends).

And besides, if you choose an NHS Physio who “moonlights” in a little bit of after work “Private Physio” then think about what you’re going to be getting… ultimately, you’re still getting an NHS Physio and their “hands-off” tactics. Any Physio who is as good as you hope, wouldn’t be sticking around in the NHS to be told that they can’t place their hands on patients. No, they’d be out of there like a shot to set up their own FULL TIME Private Clinic and devote all of their time to doing things in the best and most passionate way that they believe in.

3.) CSP, HPC and BUPA registered – reason why these three are important is that the Physio will have had to go through many checks to get the appropriate accreditation. The CSP and HPC are pretty standard in terms of safety and credibility that the Physio is who he says he is and has actually been to University to study that degree in Physiotherapy, like they say they have.

But the “BUPA” accreditation is much more difficult to achieve. BUPA is pretty HOT when it comes to checking the standards of your work, that clinic premises are up to scratch, all your liability and medical and professional insurance is up to date and that your care plans and treatment interventions are solid. So, HPC and CSP are the bare minimum requirement, but if you’re looking for the gold seal of approval, BUPA Recognition is a good one to ask for.

4.) Own premises – many part time Physios just rent a room out the back of a GP premises or a sports centre, or somewhere like that. And that’s fine. It’s just not great. And is a good indicator that the Physio is just doing it for a bit of extra cash. Harsh but true.

Renting rooms in sports centres is where I started out, but I did it with the full intention of getting out and into my own place to give my clients a better experience, as quickly as possible. And that’s why my clinic has been so successful – we give an EXPERIENCE. which is almost impossible to achieve in a loud, noisy and less than friendly sports centre where the staff who work there have nothing to do with you and no interest in your clients.

Makes it very difficult to develop a culture too. which is the back bone of any successful Private Physio clinic. If a culture of great service, hospitality and friendliness exists, it’s a place where people are going to enjoy going to. And that’s important and something that is so sadly lacking in the Physio Industry, on the whole.

5.) Full time secretary – If you ring that Physio during the day and no one answers the phone, it’s a good sign that they’re a one man band type physio. Again, that’s fine. But it’s not great. The real success of my clinic has been in finding the most helpful, warm and friendly secretaries that I could hire to greet warmly, any potential new clients.

If that Physio doesn’t think that’s important enough to make that great first impression, then I’d be worried about what’s to come there after. In health, it is so very important to put people at ease and help them relax. They’ve already got lots on their mind and enough to worry about with their health issues, and clients often tell me that just speaking to one of my team on the phone, put them at ease right away and made them feel as though they were in the right place to get help. And that’s important and something that if it’s missing from the Physio you’re calling, be wary of it.

6.) There should be a “struggle” to get in immediately and you should be paying at least £45-55 per visit – Great Physios are hard to come by. And the best indicator you can find is the “how soon” test. That means if you ring at 9am and they ask you to come down for 9.30am, chances are that they’re not the kind of Physio you want to go and see.

At my clinic, it’s often at least a few days before anyone can get in. And even then, it’s difficult and the only reason it’s not longer is that all of our Physios are asked to start early or work late, if needs be. So, if you rang my practice in lots of discomfort, we maybe able to get you an appointment that day or the next, but it will likely be at 8.30pm that NIGHT, if not later.

I’ve been known to leave my clinic at 10pm having “squeezed” another new client in, just because they were in a lot of pain and I’d feel bad for leaving them to have to suffer for another night. Sadly, most Physios don’t work like that and it’s usually a cut off of 5pm, maybe 6pm at the latest.

As of the price of Physio: the best Physios can command a fee of anything from £45 – £55 (higher in London for obvious reasons) per each time you visit. Expect to pay slightly more for the first session because it’s the most valuable and where the real clever and important work is done by the Physio in figuring out what’s wrong, and what to do about it.

7.) Ask the “what do you specialise in” question – if the Physio can’t answer it in an instant or you get a muffled or stifled answer, even one that includes a long list of injuries, then chances are that Physio doesn’t have a speciality or doesn’t know it. And that’s fine. It’s just not good.

Because if they don’t know themselves what they specialise in, how can they route all of their training and efforts towards becoming even better at it? They can’t. And means your not going to get Specialist help like you need. And that’s a problem for the Physio Industry. Many Physios don’t know what they’re good at or what they want to achieve, and even who they want to help.

And that means Physios are often what I call “diluted”. They know a little bit about a lot, rather than lots about a little. And it’s the latter person that you’re better of being in the care of. If you called and asked my clinic what we specialise in, anyone in the clinic who answers the phone from Accounts, to Admin Team to a Physio, could and would tell you the same:

“Paul Gough Physio Rooms specialise’s in helping people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s to keep ACTIVE and feel HEALTHY, for many years to come…”.

Physiotherapy: Get ALL the 51 Most Frequently Asked Question of Physio Answered in one FREE Report, when you look here:



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