Frequently asked questions

How do I get referred for Physiotherapy?

You must be registered with an East Surrey GP practice in order to access our physiotherapy service. If you are registered with an East Surrey GP practice you can be referred in one of these ways:

  • Referral from your GP or
  • Referral from your hospital consultant.

How do I book an appointment?

Once you have been referred to our service, your referral is triaged by a Senior Physiotherapist. You will either receive a letter in the post telling you to call the department to book your appointment or inform you that we have received your referral and you have been placed on our waiting list. Once you have received a letter telling you to book your appointment, please follow the instructions in the letter.

What happens during the first appointment?

Your first appointment is an assessment and will usually take between 15-60 minutes. Most people are seen in an assessment clinic where they are seen in in the order of arrival. The majority of people are seen within 30 minutes but at busy times the wait may be longer. If you are given the appointment outside of the assessment clinic, you will be seen at the time specified. The following will be discussed in your assessment:

  • When your symptoms started
  • Your general health – past and present
  • Any medication you are taking (please bring a list of present medication).

What do I need to bring/wear?

For your treatment session please bring:

  • A list of your current medications,
  • Reading glasses if you need them,
  • You may be required to undress and therefore may wish to bring shorts or vest tops.

Please inform your physiotherapist of any indwelling medical devices such as pacemakers.


Please notify the department prior to your appointment if you are unable to attend, giving as much notice as possible.

  • East Surrey Hospital: 01737 231688
  • Caterham Dene Hospital: 01883 837507
  • Oxted Therapies Unit: 01883 733890

If you do not attend your appointment and fail to contact us within one week, you will be discharged from our service. If you are unable to attend two appointments during one course of treatment, without providing more than 48 hours notice, you will automatically be discharged from our service.

What happens after the first appointment?

If further treatment is required, you may be asked to attend for follow up appointments or education/exercise classes.

How many sessions will I have?

The number of physiotherapy sessions you require will depend on your condition. How it is best managed will be agreed between you and your physiotherapist.

How long will each session last?

The initial assessment will last up to 30-40 minutes. Subsequent follow up sessions are 20 minutes.

Can I request a chaperone?

You or your physiotherapist may ask for a chaperone to be present during your session. We have both male and female physiotherapists within our service. If you would prefer to be seen by a therapist of the same sex, please inform us before your first appointment.

Can I request hospital transport?

Call: 0300 200 1067

Transport can only be provided on the basis of medical need. Please ensure you are ready 1.5 hours before your assessment time. There may be a delay in taking you home following your appointment. Please contact the relevant physiotherapy department if you have not been collected by your appointment time.

Can my needs be accommodated by the service?

Help can be provided for anyone attending the physiotherapy department with special needs, (e.g. wheelchair users, deafness, visual disability, non-English speaking). If you think you may require assistance please contact the department before your first appointment.