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Why pay for physiotherapy when we already have our beloved NHS?

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

Let’s Make Health Our Priority.

I was asked to write a blog this week about the benefits of Physiotherapy. On initial thought, for me, this seemed like something everyone would know but, upon further thought I have concluded that maybe I am wrong about this. In fact, in many ways, although a country that prides itself on leading healthcare and technological advances, the UK is still very much behind when it comes to really comprehend the physical, mental and economic benefits of physiotherapy and preventative medicine. I have recently been considering why this is so and what the barriers are to this nation’s investment in health and this is what I came up with.

We remain loyal to our beloved but struggling NHS

Our beloved NHS is the envy of many countries around the world and one of the many reasons why people flock to live in this country. It is something we are incredibly proud of. We live in a culture where we see healthcare as ‘free,’ as our ‘right,’ something we have paid our taxes for and something we ‘deserve’ to have. For over 50 years we have been lucky enough as a nation to receive high-quality healthcare courtesy of the state system and because of this, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, paying for healthcare is something that is very alien to us. But sadly, our wonderful NHS is currently floundering under the heavy load of long waiting lists, staff shortages and financial pressures, only made worse by the arrival of COVID on our doorsteps. Considering this, we are starting to observe a cultural and behavioural shift; this has started to unsteady our even most loyal NHS followers, forcing them to re-evaluate their options and priorities regarding paying for healthcare.

A few months ago, an elderly friend of mine fractured her spine in 3 places. She continues to talk even today about how wonderful physiotherapy was for her and how much it helped her get back on her feet. However, when I asked her what price, she would put on those physiotherapy services and how much she would pay to get treated quickly, she replied that she wouldn’t consider paying privately as she remains loyal to the NHS and would rather wait for treatment than pay for a ‘few exercises.’

This is something we hear daily at DPT, that patients would rather wait 18 months in pain and take time off work waiting for an operation or for their symptoms to settle than to pay for a few sessions of physio to fix their knee pain. We hear quotes like ‘oh it’s just a knee, it’ll get better on its own", ‘it’s just a massage’ ‘it’s very expensive.’

Again, another friend is awaiting a hip replacement and has marked degeneration of the hip, making it very difficult and painful to walk. When offered a new kitchen or a new hip recently she decided to go for the kitchen! A tough decision to make I know, but it drove home the fact that sometimes even when people can afford to pay, the culture is so instilled in them, that it is going to take years or even generations for people in the UK to invest in their health and get back to doing the things they love and to work quicker.

So why pay for physiotherapy?

Well, because, as I get further along in my career, I am more and more amazed at the transformative life-changing effects it can offer. There is an increasing evidence base that supports the fact that Physiotherapy can:

  • Reduce or eliminate pain

  • Help avoid surgical intervention

  • Improve overall strength and co-ordination

  • Reduce dependency on medicines and demand on pharmacies and GP surgeries

  • Improve overall fitness and often prevent further injuries.

Not to mention the many benefits to our mental health and wellbeing. Sadly, although I can vouch for my highly specialist and hardworking colleagues in the NHS, and despite their best intentions to provide high-quality care, the staffing pressures and waiting lists mean that it is unfortunately often hit and miss and a postcode lottery as to the outcomes that you will get. Despite these increasingly well-known benefits, too often recently I have seen the despondency of patients having received a substandard provision of care. Due to the challenges mentioned above, the offer of both post-op physio and hands-on therapy within the NHS seems to have suffered. For me, it has been devastating to see patients struggling, especially post knee replacement, when inadequate post-op rehab has been prescribed. Patients are having no choice but to pay privately for treatment by which point the rehab becomes a lot harder and more distressing than if they had been managed well in the first place and some even have to have repeat surgery.

So how can DPT help?

For an affordable price, DPT can offer you 1:1 physiotherapy via Reflex remote monitoring sensors. For as little as £50 a week, we support you intensively every step of the way for 6 weeks or more, allowing you to get back to your work, and your hobbies as soon as feasibly possible, as long as you are willing to put the hard work in. That means less time off work and more money in your pocket and back on the sports field or playing with your grandchildren more quickly. DPT will get you better, more efficiently, and more quickly. Let’s become a culture that takes our health seriously and spends our money wisely, investing in health and getting fitter faster and as a result saving our beloved NHS’s vital resources!

So, are you ready to make your health a priority and get your health back on track? Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation call with one of our Chartered Physiotherapists. Find out more at

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