Frequently Asked Questions

How we are keeping you safe during the COVID-19 epidemic

We are following NHS England, Public Health England and governing bodies guidance relating to infection control and social distancing. We have conducted a thorough risk assessment and put in place additional protocols to minimise the risk of transmission.

These include:

  • discussing your needs initially by phone/video to see what type of appointment is best for you
  • pre-screening for COVID-19 symptoms at initial assessment and again before each entry to the clinic
  • limiting the amount of people in the clinic at any one time, by staggering appointments and a “wait in car” policy
  • introducing a new “clean” infection controlled area within the clinic and desk shield for reception
  • painting all treatment rooms with “Sterishield” anti-bacterial paint
  • reflooring all treatment rooms with “cap & cove” washable flooring
  • reflooring all other areas with washable flooring
  • requring patients to wear masks for their appointments and sanitise hands on entering and leaving the clinic
  • issuing therapists with appropriate PPE, which is changed in accordance with guidelines
  • increasing the clinic cleaning cycle, with floors, surfaces, equipment and door handles sanitised on a regular basis
  • adopting social distancing in the clinic and during the treatment (as far as practical) to minimising the small risk of transmission
What will be different about appointments
Guidance from NHS England and our governing bodies, requires that we follow a remote first approach to appointments to minimise any risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This means we assess you remotely before offering you a face-to-face appointment. This is to make sure that the benefits you will gain from a face-to-face appointment outweigh any potential risks of transmission.

Your therapist will be wearing full PPE (gloves, apron, mask and possibly face shield), socially distancing during your treatment and minimise the time spent within 2m where possible.

Remote appointments
We can offer remote appointments with your therapist which reduces the risk associated with leaving your home.

We have not only invested in the video technology, but can also support appointments with full exercise programmes from Physiotec. These are delivered via email, to phone or computer and contain both diagramatic exercise sheets with full video demonstrations.

We can offer video, smartphone, facetime and traditional telephone appointments and have successfully conducted numerous consultations, receiving fantastic feedback from patients about this service.

Do I need to bring anything to my appointment
We require all patients to wear a face mask when entering the clinic. Should you forget, these are available at reception for minimal cost (£1).

Toilets are decomissioned during this time, so please allow for this.

We have replaced our bed linen with couch roll and no longer have towels avaialble for modesty, so please dress with this in mind, or bring your own towel.

Please leave any hand baggage at home, which will help us reduce the risk of contamination.

Our preference is to take payment by contactless card, so if you do have a choice, please bring this with you.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment
As we are following NHS England guidelines on infection control, we request that you enter the clinic by yourself.

We recognise that this may not always be possible, so should you need accompanying, please understand that your companion will be subject to the same COVID-19 infection control procedures as yourself, including leaving details for “track & trace” proposes.

Patient’s under 16 MUST be accompanied by an adult, and you may be required to sit inside the treatment room, so please ensure that you bring a mask.

Will I be allowed to wait in clinc for my appointment
We ask patients to come to the clinic unacompanied, if this is not possible then anyone accompaning you will need to go through the same infection control processes to enter the clinic. Limited socially distance (>2m) waiting is available if needed.

Once you arrive at the clinic we ask you to wait outside (in your car) and call or text us to let us know you are here. We will contact you once it its safe to enter the clinic.

PPE - Do I need to wear a mask & what will my therapist wear
We require all patients entering the clinic to wear their own face masks. If you should forget to bring one, then they will be available for purchase at reception (£1).

Your therapist will be waiting for you in a sanitised treatment room and will be wearing gloves, apron, mask & face shield (if appropriate).

Will my medical insurance cover me for my appointment
All medical insurance companies are currently advising remote appointments for their members and we invoice the insurer as normal. We have had fantastic feedback from people who have used our remote service, which tells us we are getting it right.

If this is your first appointment you will need to contact the medical insurer and follow their guidance for referral to physio. This sometimes requires contact with your GP and they will also give you authorisation details for us to be able to invoice for your treatment.

How can I pay for my appointment
We prefer people to pay using contactless cards, but should this not be possible we will use a keyed hand unit (sanitised after use).

We also accept pre-payment over the phone at the time of booking your appointment.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept cash or cheques at this time.

Will my appointment cost increase
We have kept the cost of remote virtual appointments the same, but unfortunately we have had to make a minimal increase in the cost of face-to-face treatment.

We have tried hard not to pass on additional costs, but unfortunately we have incurred a lot of additional expense putting new things in place at the clinic to keep you safe.

We have had to increase cleaning, put temporary flooring down, invest in PPE, screens and sanitisation. We have also had to restrict the numbers of people in the clinic and increase the time spent on your treatment.

We have spoken to a few of you about these increases and so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone we have spoken to says that they appreciate what we have done to re-open for face-to-face appointments and that expect to pay a little more to reduce the transmssion risk …. they also say that they have saved some money because they have not attended for the past few months, so have a little set aside.

Thank you for your support and understanding in this matter.

What extra cleaning are you doing
The clinic has increased the cleaning cycle during the COVID-19 crisis. All floors, surfaces, door handles and equipment are sanitised on a regular basis.

All room surfaces and equipment used will be sanitised after each treatment and the therapist will don new gloves and aprons before treating you.

Are all physios qualified?
Yes! All of our physios are fully qualified. This means as a minimum they will be:

The majority of our physios have much more experience than the stated minimum and many have further qualifications.

Can I choose which physio treats me?
Yes you can request to see a specific Physiotherapist. All of our physiotherapists are fully qualified and have high levels of clinical experience, so you will receive a high-quality level of care regardless of which physio treats you. When booking your initial appointment, our receptionist will ask you for details about your condition to determine which of our physios is best suited to your particular needs. Just ask to see your requested Physio and the Receptionist will let you know their availability.
Can I choose to be seen by a female physio?
We do understand that some people may feel more comfortable if they are seen by a female physiotherapist. If this is the case, please mention this to the receptionist at the time you book your appointment and they will be pleased to arrange.
Will I have to stop treatment if my physio is sick or on holiday?
Absolutely not! One of the advantages of being a large practice means that we are able to offer you the choice of physio should your regular practitioner be unavailable. All our physios maintain detailed physiotherapy records of all treatments and they all have high levels of clinical expertise. This means that they would be able to understand the specifics about your condition and your progress and then continue with your treatment plan uninterrupted. As standardised records are made for every session, your regular Physio would be able to continue your treatments in full knowledge of your progress, once they return. We will always discuss the option of seeing an alternative Physio with you and the decision to go ahead will remain yours.

On the rare occasion that your physio is sick on the day of your appointment, we will endeavour to place you with an alternative physio as close to your original appointment time as possible. We will call you to offer you this alternative appointment and discuss your treatment needs with you. The decision to go ahead with this new appointment will remain with you.

What can I expect to happen in the initial assessment?
The Initial assessment consists of 3 parts:

1. Subjective examination

The physiotherapist will ask a series of questions relating to your problem and medical history. You may find it useful to consider responses to some of these questions in advance and also to bring with you details of current medication.

We will need to know in detail about the following:

  • Current problem – How it occurred, what makes it better or worse and any previous help or investigations that you have already undergone for this problem
  • Past medical history – Details of any past operations or illnesses
  • Medication – Drugs you are taking, for how long and for what
  • Social history – Your lifestyle, job hobbies etc
  • Special questions – screening to make sure Physiotherapy is safe for you

Once the physiotherapist has established a picture of you and your problem they can carry out the objective examination.

2. Objective examination

The physiotherapist will ask you to do certain movements, so that they can analyse your movement pattern. They will look in detail, thoroughly checking out your joints, muscles, tendons and nerves.

3. Findings & Treatment Plan

Once this has all been carried out, your physiotherapist will discuss their findings with you and explain the best course of action for both your treatment plan and advise what you will need to do.

We will discuss our findings with you, demonstrating what has gone wrong and what we need to do to fix the problem using anatomical drawings, skeletons, models of the joints etc. We will provide you with an explanation “leaflet” relating to you condition (if appropriate) and offer you advice on exercises which you could conduct at home to speed up the healing process.

We will highlight how we propose to treat your condition in a plan which we will agree with you. The treatment plan will outline the techniques that we propose to use, the electrotherapy equipment we are planning to use and the extent of the recovery we are aiming to achieve.

Using our experience as chartered physiotherapists, we will also give you an indication of how long we believe it will take to make a full recovery.

Can I pay for my treatments by credit card?
Yes, we accept all types of payment,

How do I know what type of physiotherapy will help me?
Your Physiotherapist is here to guide you in this respect. The types of Physiotherapy treatments will be discussed with you as part of the initial “Treatment Plan” and also on an ongoing basis, but please let your therapist know if you have had previous physiotherapy and if you have had a good result from a particular treatment technique.
What clothes shall I bring for my physio appointment?
We usually need to observe and assess not only the affected area but the joints above and below, which may be contributing to your problem. This will often result in you having to undress to “underwear” level.

Please feel free to bring shorts (for leg, hip and back problems) and vest top (for back, arm, chest, neck and head problems)

What do I have to do if I want to claim costs through my medical insurance?
Rugby Physiotherapy deals with All major medical insurance companies. For further information about what to do to claim through your insurer, visit our Appointment & Fees page.
I have an excess or treatment limit on my medical policy what should I do?
All medical insurance companies deal with “Excess” and “Policy Limits” in the same way.

A Policy Excess is a payment that the client has agreed to make towards the insurance claim. This can be in the form of a deduction against each treatment or deduction against the total claim. The insurer deducts the Excess from invoices submitted by the clinic and the patient is required to settle the Excess amount directly with the clinic. The Insurance company will write to the patient (and clinic) to inform them that an excess has been deducted. We will issue an invoice directly to yourself requesting payment.

A Policy Limit is a maximum amount towards treatment. This is usually in the form of an annual limit but it can also be set as a limit for each episode of care. The medical insurance company will pay invoiced amounts up to the predescribed limit. Any charges over the limit are to be settled by the patient directly with the medical clinic. The Insurance company will write to the patient (and clinic) to inform them that the policy limit has been exceeded. We will issue an invoice directly to yourself requesting payment.


If you are dealing with the claim yourself, it is important that all invoices are sent to the medical insurance company to ensure that you are not disadvantaged. Remember some excesses and limits get reset at the policy year end.

Medical insurance registration details for our physiotherapists and podiatrists
Our Teams HPC and Medical Insurance registration details are tabulated below

PhysiotherapistHPC NumberBUPA NumberAXA/PPP Number
Liz CoulthreadPH3667480009279ZZ00975
Alison HarbordPH2745880009279ZZ00975
James Neal
Anne MerrallPH2045080009279ZZ00975
Alex Bunyard
PodiatristHPC Number
Karen StoneCH32659
Health Professions Council

The Health Professions Council (HPC) is a government body which was set up to reassure people that they are being treated by fully Qualified medical practitioners. The HPC ensures that all medical practitioners meet certain professional standards and is also the body to turn to if something should go wrong. The HPC maintain a register of all the health professionals who have passed State Examinations. You can check the registered status of any of the Rugby Physiotherapy team by clicking on the HPC image link (below) and entering the Physiotherapists HPC number.

Link to Health Professions Council Check site


PhysiotherapistHPC Number
Liz CoulthreadPH36674
Alison HarbordPH27458
James Neal

Anne Merrall

Alex Bunyard

PodiatristHPC Number
Karen StoneCH32659