Physiotherapist proves flexible with online sessions
A West Midlands physiotherapist is hosting online consultations and Pilates sessions to help its patients stay in good health during lockdown, after being saved from closure by support from Lloyds Bank.
While Physio & Health Matters, which has four branches in the region, is still able to offer a limited number of face-to-face consultations for those in critical need, appointments are subject to a stringent risk assessment to ensure there is no risk of spreading coronavirus.
So, the group, which has had to furlough almost all of its staff, is also offering consultations via phone, video link and even WhatsApp and Snapchat to its 10,500 patients, around 15% of whom are NHS referrals.
Physiotherapist and managing director Kiran Sharma said: “We’re following advice from the regulator and we’ve been told we can carry on treating people who are in dire need, after assessing the risk to ourselves and patient and while wearing PPE.
“These patients would otherwise end up at their GP practice or in hospital, so it’s about protecting the NHS at a time when it is under huge pressure.
“For our other patients, we are holding telephone and online consultations to give advice and help them manage their pain.”
Pilates classes that would previously been held in clinic have also been shifted online.
Kiran said: “If people are struggling with the anxiety of being indoors, things like online Pilates can really help their mental wellbeing.
But Kiran says the firm’s income has fallen by 80 – 85% overnight and without support it would have been forced to close.
Now Lloyds Bank has provided a £80,000 loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
She said: “My business banking manager Shaun knows my business inside out and he’s always there when we need him.
“Without the funding I would have had to shut the business down. It just wouldn’t have been sustainable. This means that we can carry on.”
As well as physiotherapy, Physio & Health Matters offers a range of services including neuro physiotherapy, nutritional advice, biomechanics, custom made orthotics, Pilates and treatment for sports injuries.
Founded in 2000, it has four clinics: Ross-on-Wye, Balsall Common and two in Redditch.
Shaun Leahy, business banking manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Physio & Health Matters is providing a valuable service to its patients under very difficult circumstances and it needs extra support during these tough times.
“We’re working with business customers right across the region to offer guidance and help them access the support that’s available, including through CBILS.”