How much does physiotherapy cost in London, UK

If you are wondering how much does physiotherapy cost in London, UK, the simple answer is it can vary. As a guide you can expect to pay anything between £80 and £140 for an initial assessment. While for a follow up you can expect to pay between £45 and £90. 

For our clients at Central Health it costs £130 for an hour long initial assessment and £85 for a 30 minute follow up.

Why does the cost of physiotherapy vary in London?

This is a question that is essential to know when looking for the right physio to look after you. While costs can vary, your value for money will vary more. It can be tricky to know what value you will get prior to actually trying the product but here are a few simple tips we recommend you check out for the prospective physio company you are looking to use:

  • 1 – Are the profiles of the staff easily found and do each of the staff members show their specialist expertise. 
  • 2 – Do they display reviews from real clients – are there reviews specific to the service or physio you are interested in seeing?
  • 3 – How experienced are the staff? Being assessed by a newly graduated physiotherapist is completely different to one who has years of experience and additional training under their belt. 
  • 4 – Are the prices clear? Be careful when comparing clinics as some will spend 90 minutes on an initial assessment. While others will spend 60 minutes or 45 minutes. Some will even spend as little as 30 minutes for an initial assessment. What appears cheaper on the surface may mean you end up with less time spent 1 to 1 with the physio in the initial consultation. 

Physiotherapy Cost vs Investment

Most people think that they cannot afford private physiotherapy but there are a few reasons why we think it is value for money. Most people view seeing a physiotherapist privately as a cost. We however see it as an investment in yourself and your personal health. When looked at through the lens of costs vs benefits. Then the quicker you are able to get back to the things you enjoy doing and back to work and life as normal then the less impact it has on your financial, mental and physical health.

With the NHS now in recovery from the frenzy of the pandemic, waiting times for orthopaedic treatment and assessment have soared. You will wait on average a minimum of three months (in most London based trusts much longer!) to see a specialist. Whether you have ruptured your cruciate ligament in your knee or strained your back. For a self employed builder or freelance office worker who has to sit all day, this could cause huge financial worry as well as stress and anxiety.

In my 30 plus years as a physiotherapist, I have found this one of the most frustrating things about waiting lists in the NHS. Waiting for treatment can result in increased probability of chronic pain and mental health issues. Which in the end creates a huge cost burden for everyone. Employees, family, employers and finally more long term strain on the NHS and universal credit.

So why wait and put yourself at risk of creating more problems for yourself in the short, medium and long term. The amount of times I have seen clients who have waited and waited for their NHS appointment, then in the end decided to come and see us while they waited. Almost 100% of the time they say ‘I wish I had seen you sooner!’……. 

Reasons to pay to see a private physiotherapist:

So far, the NHS does not have a solution for this but have you ever thought about seeking private help? Why would you do that?

  1. Most Private physios can see you within 24 hours of a request
  2. The cost of this far outweighs the cost of being off work.
  3. Not knowing how to manage your pain can feel overwhelming.
  4. Often just one or two sessions can get you back on the road to recovery
  5. The cost for two sessions in London will be up to £220 and up to 50% less outside of London.
  6. If you have had surgery, more severe injury or broken bones, this cost can double but if you buy a package of treatments, you can manage the cost better.
  7. Less than 10% of any orthopaedic issue needs surgery or a doctor’s opinion, so see a physio first! A consultant opinion can cost a minimum of £200 before any, often unnecessary, imaging is done.

What does a private physiotherapist do in a session?

  1. We assess your problem with you through questioning and physical examination. This is usually an hour. Follow up sessions are 30 minutes.
  2. We plan a program of recovery. This will mainly involve a bespoke program of exercise and advice as well as any manual therapy we believe will help point you in the right direction.
  3. If we cannot get you better (less than 10%) we will refer you to a trusted medical colleague.
  4. If we cannot help you at all, which is highly unlikely, we guarantee a refund.

Can I have private and NHS physio at the same time?

Yes, there is no reason why you can’t have an NHS physio at the same time as seeing a private physiotherapist. We often collaborate with NHS consultants and physiotherapists and ultimately we help them by reducing their caseload and subsequent waiting times. 

There are times when we can negate the need for you to see a physio in the NHS. As stated above, the waiting times are so lengthy that often the majority of problems we see in the clinic can be resolved in less than 3 months. Other times we will be encouraging you to ‘stay in the NHS system’ so that ongoing care can be facilitated as required. Your physio will be able to guide you on the specifics of your case in your sessions. 

Conclusion:

So, if you are reading this blog because you are wondering about the physiotherapy cost in London rather than how to manage that pain. Take action. Google private physios in your area and find some help. Check out our guide to help you find the right physio for you. Trust a physio to help you. It could prove to be the best value for money and get you back to your best.

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