Virtual healthcare provider Teladoc Health UK is now offering a virtual physiotherapy service, giving patients quick and easy access to qualified physiotherapists without the need for a GP referral.

The new virtual service can be offered over the phone or via video, and can help patients to reduce their pain levels.

An initial consultation takes 45 minutes, with a physiotherapist assessing patients in real-time appointments. The majority of patients are assessed within 48 hours and able to start treatment quickly.

If at any point during treatment a referral is required, Teladoc Health will facilitate the referral process for the patient.

Not all musculoskeletal (MSK) issues require patients to see a physiotherapist face-to-face. By offering a virtual service, Teladoc Health is able to improve access to physiotherapy, helping the estimated one-third of the population to treat their MSK issue.

It also ensures patients are seen as quickly as possible and can access the most appropriate treatment for their condition.

Will Kenton, head of physiotherapy at Teladoc Health UK, said: “Having quick access to physiotherapy improves patient outcomes. What is great about the virtual approach is that traditional face-to-face physiotherapy is not a requirement for many common MSK presentations.

“I had a patient who rolled their ankle playing football. Often these injuries can cause significant uncertainty and concern for the patient. Despite considerable swelling and bruising at the time, I could rule out any consequential damage or cause for concern. Working closely with the patient, we completed a six-week rehabilitative exercise program. I’m pleased to report they are back playing football pain-free!”

Teladoc Health delivers its virtual physiotherapy service through life, health, accident and travel insurers, general insurers and affinity groups.

Digital physiotherapy tools hold great potential. In summer 2021, a pilot of PhysioNow across Welsh health boards revealed the potential to save more than £1m annually in the country.