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St Andrews Therapy Services


St Andrew’s Burns and Plastics

St Andrew’s Burns and Plastics Department has its own designated Therapy Department, which prides itself on giving a highly specialist and best practice service to the following specialities: Burns, Plastic Surgery, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Reconstruction. Hand Trauma, Elective Hand Surgery and ENT.

The team consists of both Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists and is led by a Lead Therapist with over 30 years of experience in the area specialising in the treatment of hand surgical and non- surgical conditions.  A Physiotherapy Consultant, who has attained a PhD in the field of Burns Intensive Care, published many research papers and has over 20 years of experience working with patients with Burns and those following Plastic Surgery and Head and Neck Cancer Surgery.


Burns, Plastic Surgery, ENT Surgery

We work with adults and children who have suffered burns to all areas of the body. The role of the physiotherapist is varied, and involves advising on ways to assist a patient’s breathing, improving a patient’s comfort, and restoring mobility. Additionally, the physiotherapist may be asked to give advice on the extent of a patients potential after rehabilitation.


Key roles of the Physiotherapist

Optimising a patient’s breathing is especially important and particularly whilst a patient requires mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit. Normally patients in the ICU will be assessed and receive physiotherapy treatment twice per day, however, burn patients often require chest physiotherapy many times throughout the day and night and for as long as required, until a more normal breathing function is restored.

Patients who have had head and neck cancer or ENT surgery will require physiotherapy to maintain a clear chest afterwards, to manage and remove the tracheostomy tube at the right time, and to restore general mobility. 

Patients who are very unwell following burns, surgery and other illness may be confined to bed over a protracted period. This results in a rapid loss of muscle tissue and strength whilst prolonged limited movement leads to restricted and sometimes painful movement of important joints. It is vital therefore that physiotherapy is available to provide a range of rehabilitation exercises designed to support the patient’s limbs and optimise movement and comfort. Additionally, the physiotherapist is available to help to restore the patient’s baseline mobility.

As a burn patient’s wounds heal, physiotherapy and occupational therapy will be required to ensure scars are kept as soft and supple as possible using massage techniques and pressure therapy.


Key roles of the Occupational Therapist


The occupational therapists focus is to preserve the patient’s functional movement throughout the rehabilitation process, providing assistance and practise of the activities of daily living e.g. feeding, washing and returning to normal routines.

Occupational therapists tend to concentrate on rehabilitation of the upper limbs, as daily functions depend a great deal on a range of good hand and arm movements. Occupational Therapists make special splints, specifically designed for each patient to maintain functional positions of joints and discourage the formation of deformities after burns and long periods of immobility.


Hand Therapy Service

We provide specialist care for both adults and children with both non-surgical or surgical conditions of the hand and forearm,

Care is carried out by a Specialist hand therapist who are state registered Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists.

Patients receive individual assessments and treatment sessions.  We work closely with plastic and orthopaedic surgeons.  Your Therapist will have detailed knowledge and understanding of your surgery or condition and will plan with you a treatment programme.  This may include various evidence based assessments.  Treatments may include splinting, paraffin wax, electrotherapy, exercises, joint mobilisation and rehabilitation to support your return to work and leisure activities. 



The Department is located within Zone E121, which is within the St Andrew’s Outpatients, to give patients the opportunity to have multi-disciplinary team discussions during their Outpatient appointment when required.


Opening Times

Hand Therapy Outpatients department has appointments from 0730am – 1600 Monday – Friday.

Burns Outpatient Therapy Service is available 0800 – 1600 Monday – Friday.

Breast Reconstruction Clinics take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1330, 1400 and 1430 for patients 2, 4 and 6 weeks post op.

Burns Inpatients operates on the Burns ICU/HDU adult and paediatric burns wards – Stock Ward, Billericay Ward, Goldhanger Ward and Phoenix Ward.  Our regular service is delivered to inpatients from 0700 – 1600 Monday – Friday.

Out of hours, a 24-hour on-call service operates throughout the week, weekends and Bank holidays for emergency respiratory physiotherapy.  Physiotherapy cover is provided at weekends and bank holidays for patients with breathing difficulties and critically ill patients.  On call physiotherapists can be contacted by Senior Medical staff via Switchboard. 



Main Therapy Reception – 01245 516009