An essential part of this partnership working is an initial appointment to discuss your needs, expectations and your care journey. This first appointment may be a telephone appointment or an appointment to attend one of our clinics in person. We've compiled a list of commonly asked questions about this first visit.
Frequently asked questions on first appointments
Click on each question below to read the answer.
What will happen at my first appointment?
At your first appointment we will ask for your consent. Your therapist will then assess your needs and ask you questions about your health and wellbeing. They will find out about your clinical condition and needs and work with you to make a plan to suit your needs. Not all conditions are suitable for physiotherapy treatment and if this is the case you will be referred to a different healthcare professional or specialty.
It is helpful to bring a list of any medications you are taking to your appointment.
If a physical examination is needed, you will be asked for your permission for this and private curtained areas are available as well as modesty coverings, if appropriate. Please wear the appropriate underwear and loose-fitting clothing for your appointment as those areas that need to be examined will be exposed. For telephone or video consultations, you may be asked to carry out a series of tests and report back to your therapist on how well you managed these.
We aim to have you looked after by one therapist and they could be either male or female but please bear in mind that staff changes, sickness and holiday can affect this and you may need to see another therapist. Care may be provided by a physiotherapy assistant supported by a senior physiotherapist. The Physiotherapy Service aims to provide the best possible care with compassion and dignity, and you can be assured that your care will be confidential.
How long will my appointment last?
Your first appointment will most likely last for 30-40 minutes and the duration of follow up appointments will depend on your treatment. Physiotherapy appointments do follow a strict timetable and if you are late, this may reduce your treatment time so do leave home in plenty of time for your appointment. Lateness of more than 10 minutes may result in you loosing your appointment slot and not being seen that day. If staff are absent, you may be contacted or seen by another therapist. If we cannot provide a suitable therapist, we may have to postpone your appointment so please let us have a number that we can use to contact you at short notice.
Should I bring anything?
If you have a telephone or video appointment, please make sure you are in a quiet area and other people cannot overhear your conversation. We will send you further information regarding this.
Please have any other relevant information that may help the therapist to hand such as your current medication list.
If you have a face-to-face appointment please bring your appointment card, a list of any medicines you are taking, and suitable clothing for the examination. If unsure, remember that we usually need to see and feel the affected area to assess your problem thoroughly.
If you use reading glasses don’t forget to bring them with you as you may be required to complete a questionnaire.
Will a student see me?
NHS Fife is a University teaching hospital and student physiotherapists have their clinical placements in our department. They are always supervised by an experienced physiotherapist. While making your initial appointment you may be asked you may be asked if you agree to be seen by a student. If you prefer not to be seen by a student, please tell the staff member appointing you at the time of booking.
Where can I park?
There is car parking at all venues where physiotherapy is provided. Parking spaces are limited throughout all hospitals, health centres and clinics. Please allow extra time for parking. If you are attending for a face-to-face appointment, please attend as close to your allotted appointment time as possible.
Can I have an Interpreter?
If you require an interpreter (foreign language or sign language) please let us know by contacting the central booking unit in advance on the number below or at the time of booking your appointment. We can provide interpreting services during phone, video or face-to-face consultations as appropriate.
Is it possible to have a chaperone ?
If you need a chaperone you may wish to bring somebody with you as these are not always available at short notice. If you wish to discuss the arranging of a chaperone, please contact the central booking unit in advance on 01592 647199.
What if I have special requirements?
Please contact the service as soon as possible if you have any special requirement. This requirement can then be put in place before your appointment if we can.
How can I contact the department?
The contact telephone number for the centralised booking unit is 01592 647199.
Contact details for your treatment centre will be given to you on your first appointment. There is an answering machine available for you to leave a message at any other time.
NHS Fife uses an automated text system to remind you of your appointment. If you want to receive these reminders please contact the Central Booking Office.
Do you provide information in alternative formats?
If you require this information in a community language or alternative format e.g. Braille, easy read, audio please contact the Equality and Human Rights Department at: or telephone 01592 729130 NHS Fife SMS Text Service - 07805800005 (for people with a hearing or verbal impairment)
How can I provide feedback
We are committed to improving our service so please inform your physiotherapist or the physiotherapy team lead, if you have any comments or suggestions. The department complies with the published hospital complaints procedure, a copy of which is available in the department.
You can also leave constructive feedback on the independent Care Opinion website. Find out more.
It is NHS Fife policy that failure to attend an appointment without notifying the service, or contacting us within two weeks after the missed appointment, will normally lead to your discharge from our service.
Information on NHS patients is collected in a variety of ways and for a range of reasons (e.g. providing care and treatment, managing and planning the NHS, training and educating staff etc.). Everyone working for NHS Fife has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Information will only ever be shared with people who have a genuine need for it (e.g. your GP or other professionals from whom you have been receiving care) or if the law requires it. Please be assured however that anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.