Is your postcode impacting your healthcare?
New research conducted by the University of East Anglia reported that the amount of physiotherapy available following hip and knee replacements, comes down to ‘postcode lottery’.
The research found that patients in London and the North of England, are more likely to receive physiotherapy after a knee or hip replacement, whereas, patients in the South West are the least likely to receive physiotherapy.
Additional findings from the study showed significant inequalities, in the likelihood of receiving treatment to restore mobility. Women and younger patients were far more likely than older men to receive physiotherapy, as they recovered from surgery. The average age of those who had at least 10 sessions was 65, while the average age of those having none was 69.
Hip and knee replacements are two of the most common forms of surgery in the NHS. In 2017 more than 200,000 knee replacements were carried out in England and Wales.
It is surprising with these numbers of replacements that the provision for physiotherapy after surgery, is so inconsistent.
How can you take control of your recovery?
Physiotherapy is an important part of recovery as it helps to restore movement and function. Following a joint replacement physiotherapy helps to aid a safe recovery. In the UK we are lucky to benefit from free treatment on the NHS. Unfortunately, as highlighted this treatment is not always consistent in standards and availability.
If you want more control over your treatment, then there are other options available; like self-funding treatment or taking out a private health insurance policy.
The cost of self-funding surgery and rehabilitation can soon add up. According to Private Healthcare UK a Hip replacement cost £10,900 and a Knee replacement cost £10,806 (based on median national costs from December 2016).
On top of the cost of the joint replacement surgery you will likely have to pay for ongoing private physiotherapy. According to Capital Physio the cost of an hour physiotherapy session in the UK ranges from £56 – £105.
Does health insurance cover the cost of physiotherapy?
Another option is to take out a private medical insurance policy that gives you access to a private physio. Some insurers like Freedom Health, offer access to a physiotherapist as part of their standard cover. Bupa and Aviva cover therapies as part of the Outpatient cover. Other insurers like AXA PPP, Vitality Health and The Exeter all have the option to add additional therapies to their policies.
If you are interested in exploring a health insurance policy, that will provide you with cover for both surgery and therapies, then get in touch by calling 01242 350071.