First-rate care, First-rate people, First-rate value

Outpatient Physiotherapy

A team of specialist physiotherapists, who provide expert treatment and guidance to rehabilitate and re-educate people with a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders within a clinic setting. 

Physiotherapist with patient

What does the service provide?

The Outpatient Physiotherapy Service at First Community consists of a team of specialist physiotherapists, who provide expert treatment and guidance to rehabilitate and re-educate people with a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders within a clinic setting. 

What the service aims to do

Restoration of the patient's function, activity and independence as well as to prevent further injury/illness. Patients are expected to undertake an appropriate programme of home exercises, which forms an integral part of the rehabilitation process. 

We assess, diagnose and treat patients, from the age of 16 onwards, with conditions including:

  • Neck pain
  • Whiplash
  • Low back pain
  • Post-operative conditions
  • Persistent (chronic) pain
  • Rheumatological conditions
  • Occupational health injuries 
  • Pelvic, obstetric and gynaecological physiotherapy (see more information below)

The treatments covered by our service include:

  • Exercise prescription 
  • Exercise classes
  • Manual therapy 
  • Acupuncture
  • Electrotherapy
  • Taping
  • Advice

For more information about our Outpatient Physiotherapy Service, please select the drop down boxes below. 

Physiotherapy self-help

Select the tile below to find out what you can do to manage:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Getting active
  • General health
  • Persistent (chronic pain)
  • Mental health
Physiotherapy self help tile





You can be referred to our services if you're over 16 years old and are registered with an east Surrey GP practice.  There are several ways to access our service:

Referral from GP or consultant

Many of our referrals are sent following an assessment with your GP or consultant.


First Community now accepts self-referral to musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy.

This allows you to refer yourself to our outpatient physiotherapy services without having to see your GP first. You must be 16 years old or above, and registered with an east Surrey GP to self-refer.

Self-referral is suitable for patients with relatively simple conditions* such as joint pain, strains and sprains and back/neck pain. If you have more complex needs – for example, you have movement problems caused by a stroke or multiple sclerosis (MS) – you will still need a referral from a doctor. Self-referrals are also inappropriate for anyone who is currently being treated for cancer or experiencing the following symptoms:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • unexplained bladder or bowel problems
  • night pain that persists despite changing your position 
  • fever or night sweats
  • unsteady on feet
  • numbness or tingling around back passage or genitals
  • pins & needles/numbness in both arms or in both legs
  • on current treatment for cancer.

*This outpatient physiotherapy service is for MSK (musculoskeletal) physiotherapy which treats patients who have issues (both short and longer-term issues) that affect muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. It is suitable for people who are considering surgery.

How to refer

Complete and return the self-referral form by email or by post. 

You can also pick-up a paper copy of the form from your GP surgery.

Once the form is complete, please save it as a PDF document (not a photo/jpg) and then email it to or post the paper copy to Oxted Therapies Unit, Barnetts Shaw, Oxted RH8 0NQ.

You should only refer yourself for one condition at a time. If you have multiple conditions then you can self-refer again after treatment for your first condition has ended.

What happens next?

Referrals will be assessed by our Outpatient Physiotherapy Team who will ensure that you are seen by the right service at the right time. If your self-referral is deemed unsuitable we will contact you to explain why and suggest a more appropriate route.

Self-referrals will be treated the same as referrals from GPs and other sources so self-referring does not guarantee that you will receive physiotherapy treatment any sooner. Self-referrals will save you time as you will not have to see your GP prior to being referred.

The appointments will be held at one of First Community’s outpatient clinics in Caterham, Oxted and Redhill (see below for full addresses).

Assessment at your GP practice

First Community provide ‘First Contact Physiotherapists’ for an assessment at your GP surgery without needing to see your GP first. The scheme is for patients who are 18 years old or above. This service is currently available in all GP practices across east Surrey, with the exception of Pondtail Surgery.

You can book to see a physiotherapist by ringing your usual surgery number. Reception staff may ask a few questions to identify whether an appointment with the physiotherapist would be the best option for you.

Appointments will take place at your GP surgery and last approximately 20 minutes. The physiotherapist will assess your symptoms and discuss your treatment options. They may provide you with advice, refer you for a course of physiotherapy or refer you onto another service.

The scheme means that you are able to access expert advice quickly and from the comfort of your local GP surgery. It also helps to free up appointments for patients who need to see a GP.

Feedback from patients has been positive: “A specialised service which could ease the workload on GPs who are not able to be an expert in everything and will help patients.” 

A poster detailing information about the service can be downloaded here.

Service locations

Clinics are held at East Surrey Hospital, Caterham Dene Hospital and Oxted Therapies Unit.

Each site has a well equipped gym to aid rehabilitation. We are proud to offer one to one treatment sessions as well as a variety of rehabilitation classes, including back skills and ESCAPE knee classes.

Caterham Dene Hospital

Church Road, Caterham CR3 5RA

01883 837507

Oxted Therapies Unit

Barnetts Way, Oxted RH8 0NQ

01883 733890

Hours of service:

Caterham Dene

Clinic times are from 8am-7pm Mondays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 8am – 4.30pm on a Fridays.

The earliest appointment available is 8.15am and the latest is 6.30pm.  

Oxted Therapy Centre

There are three clinics a week at Oxted Therapy Centre with no evening clinics.  The earliest appointment available is 8.15am and the latest is 4.30pm.


All clinics have parking facilities; however there is a charge for this at East Surrey Hospital.

Please allow plenty of time for parking as space can be limited at times.

This is a specialist area of physiotherapy, we treat a wide range of conditions including:

  • Problems with continence (in both men and women)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic pain (in both men and women)
  • Low back pain and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy
  • Post-natal musculoskeletal conditions such as separation of the tummy muscles (diastesis)
  • Perineal tear following childbirth.

For self help management advice please select the 'How to look after yourself and manage pain' drop down below.

How do I get referred for outpatient physiotherapy?

You must be registered with an east Surrey GP practice in order to access our Outpatient 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 hospital consultant
  • A First Contact Physiotherapist in your GP surgery (see information above under 'How to access outpatient physiotherapy services)
  • Self-referral (see information above under 'How to access outpatient physiotherapy services).

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.

Virtual appointments

When you book your initial assessment, you can choose to have either a telephone call or a video call.   

What happens during the first appointment?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Physiotherapy Service is operating a virtual first approach.  For your first appointment you will be offered either a telephone or video assessment and this will usually take between 30 - 60 minutes.  The following will be discussed:

Telephone calls

This will be from a withheld number. You will be given a specific time for your appointment and it is important that you are in an appropriate place to take the call.  You may be asked to do some physical tests over the phone. 

Video calls

This will take place on the NHS platform, Attend Anywhere, which can be accessed via a smart phone, tablet or computer.  If you choose to use Attend Anywhere, the admin team will send you a link and the instructions to access the virtual waiting room, when you book your appointment. The Physiotherapist will expect to see you in the waiting room at your appointment time, if you are not there, they will try and call you to help you with any technical difficulties. 

If further treatment is required, this is likely to continue virtually. However, if your Physiotherapist feels that a face-to-face appointment is needed, then they will discuss this with you.   

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer group exercise classes, due to the social distancing restrictions currently in place.  We are following government guidelines and hope to restart these as soon as we are able.

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 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.

Find out about our Community Physiotherapy Service below

Community Physiotherapy

A team of physiotherapists who visit you in your own home, residential or nursing home when circumstances show that you cannot attend physiotherapy at your local hospital.