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Joe’s story: virtual physiotherapy appointments

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28 April 2020

Meet 13 year old Joe from Sheffield!Joe age 13 from Sheffield

Like lots of patients at Sheffield Children’s, he is currently receiving care through video appointments. Video appointments or phone consultations are available for some clinics at Sheffield Children’s on a platform that has been specially developed for healthcare uses.

In Joe’s case, this is from the Musculoskeletal Outpatients team.

Heather, Joe’s mum, said: “For two years, Joe was suffering with horrendous pain in both his hips – some days he could not walk. It meant he had to give up Jujitsu and PE.

“Then he was diagnosed at Sheffield Children’s with hip dysplasia, and in June 2019 Joe had surgery on his left hip before starting physiotherapy. At this point Joe was not able to bear his weight on his left leg and getting from his wheelchair to the bed was a massive challenge. Sarah in the Physiotherapy team built up an amazing relationship with Joe. Every physio session they have a laugh and a good chat even when Joe has been in pain.”

During their video appointments, Sarah Hill, Principal Physiotherapist, is able to listen to Joe’s concerns about a new pain in his hip which is due to be operated on and provide support remotely.

Sarah said: “Joe had backed away from doing his exercises as he was worried that he was going to cause more harm. After listening to his symptoms and description of what had he had been doing prior to his pain, I asked his mum to video him performing certain movements I could then reassure him that I had no major concerns and that what he needed to do was get back to his old exercises and really push to do more on it again.

“It is not quite the same as ‘carrying on as normal’ and for some children a hands-on approach is definitely needed but for some families the video appointments help motivate them to continue doing their exercises, which they otherwise would perhaps put as a less important factor of daily life to consider.

“As a team in Musculoskeletal Outpatients we are trying to perform video appointments with all of our new patients – slowly working our way through – so that some contact has been made and we can offer some basic exercises for the families to start working at, until we can see them properly and perform a full assessment on them.”

Heather said: “This has been great for Joe. He respects Sarah so he really listens and takes on board what she says. I know without these he could easily lose focus. I know Sarah is only a phone call away and knew if we have any issues she is always there to help.”

“I’d also like to add how amazing the NHS and Sheffield Children’s are. The team won’t let Coronavirus and the lockdown prevent them from helping and treating our children. They work hard to find other ways of doing so.”

To find out more about video or phone appointments at Sheffield Children’s, please visit our website:



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