We provide a physiotherapy service as part of a multi-disciplinary team to all patients admitted to our hospitals in:

  • adult respiratory medicine (mainly at Royal Brompton Hospital)
  • cardiothoracic surgery
  • intensive care
  • cardiology
  • transplantation (Harefield Hospital)
  • paediatrics (Royal Brompton Hospital).

The main focus is on cardiorespiratory problems, but we look at all problems and refer patients accordingly. Treatments include: 

  • airway clearance
  • exercise and managing dysfunctional breathing patterns as well as breathlessness.


Most areas have a blanket cover/referral system for inpatients, which means that patients suitable for physiotherapy can be seen without a formal referral from ward staff. Other patients can be referred as needed. 

If emergency physiotherapy is needed out of normal working hours (8:30 am to 4:45 pm), medical or nursing staff should contact the on-call service through the main switchboard. There is a modified inpatient service over weekends.

We also provide an outpatient physiotherapy service. Patients can be referred by consultants and their teams, senior nursing staff, inpatient physiotherapists, and GPs either by letter or through the ICE referral system.

Inpatient or outpatient physiotherapy appointments are also available for private patients.

Although this is a cardiorespiratory specialist centre, we also provide assessment, treatment and onward referral for other problems. Our physiotherapists are qualified in all aspects of physiotherapy and are members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Treatment and programmes

Physiotherapy covers a wide range of cardiorespiratory conditions.

After a full assessment, treatment may include: 

  • airway clearance techniques
  • exercise advice and fitness programmes
  • rehabilitation after critical illness, cardiothoracic surgery etc
  • management of dysfunctional breathing patterns, including hyperventilation.

Physiotherapy services at Royal Brompton Hospital also provide:

  • non-invasive ventilation and weaning programmes

  • pulmonary rehabilitation programme - twice weekly on an outpatient group basis

  • specific tests, including inhalation bronchoconstriction trials (for inhaled antibiotics and mucolytics), exercise tests including shuttle walking tests and assessment for portable oxygen therapy

  • a home compressor/nebuliser service in the outpatient physiotherapy department - we can also arrange compressors over holidays.

Physiotherapy services at Harefield Hospital also provide: