Based across both Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals the respiratory physiotherapy team supports patient care by providing both a comprehensive service to the in-patient wards and outpatient services.

Both teams cover a large number of wards, including the intensive care unit (ICU), high dependency unit (HDU), coronary care (CCU), respiratory, surgical, and medical wards. Patients with a wide variety of respiratory conditions will be assessed, treated, and rehabilitated.

We assist with secretion clearance, improving lung volumes, assisting with weaning from ventilation, providing secretion management strategies, breathlessness management strategies and using techniques to increase exercise tolerance. We provide rehabilitation with the aim to facilitate a time efficient and safe discharge, providing input from when a patient is critically unwell, to medically stable and up until discharge date.

Physiotherapy aims to assist patients to effectively regain their function and return to baseline abilities, and also to facilitate their care through to tertiary services, and create onward referrals as necessary – for example to community hospitals, COPD pathway, Pulmonary Rehabilitation and outpatient follow up appointments.

Physiotherapists work as part of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to provide the Pulmonary Rehabilitation service to patients in West Kent. This service is based in community venues across West Kent, courses run for six weeks with patients attending classes twice weekly. Patients take part in an exercise program and receive education about their condition and how to manage their symptoms. Patients are referred to this service via their Consultant, GP, Respiratory Nurse or Physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists work as part of the MDT team to deliver the integrated care pathway for respiratory Patients.

Bronchiectasis clinics are offered as an out-patient service at both sites. This service is for patients, who are under the care of an MTW Respiratory Consultant. Here they will be assessed and guided to complete the most appropriate and effective daily method of airway clearance and exacerbation management. Similarly, joint clinics with the respiratory consultants are offered at Tunbridge Wells once monthly.

Patients with other respiratory conditions may also be offered clinic appointments. We have a number of patient information leaflets to support any education/advice given by the Physiotherapists.

We provide a weekend/bank holiday respiratory service for acutely unwell respiratory patients on both sites.
An out of hours on- call service is available (1600- 0800 via Switchboard) for patients who would benefit from urgent chest physiotherapy.