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Physiotherapy, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

Physiotherapy services are provided to patients who have, or potentially have, a movement dysfunction resulting from injury, disease or life changes.

Physiotherapy treatment is directed towards maintaining and restoring normal function, minimising dysfunction and preventing disability.  We do this by providing pain relief, enhancing movement patterns, restoring joint range and muscle function, maximising cardio-respiratory function and achieving functional independence.

Treatments include manual therapy, movement re-education, exercise, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy and exercise and education classes.

The RBWH Physiotherapy Department provides tertiary services for patients with amputations, neurological conditions, deconditioning, lymphoedema, burns, chronic pain, oncological and musculoskeletal conditions, respiratory complications, hand injuries, haemophilia, prematurity, pregnancy, urinary and faecal incontinence from pelvic floor dysfunction and other Women's and Newborn Services.


Outpatient referrals for physiotherapy are accepted from Queensland Health medical officers and general practitioners.

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Physiotherapists assist with the management of a wide range of cardio-respiratory conditions for both inpatients and outpatients.

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Physiotherapy Screening Clinic and Multidisciplinary Service (PSC & MDS)

Physiotherapy Screening Clinics operate alongside the Specialist Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Outpatient Clinics.

The role of the PSC is to provide early assessment and non-surgical management to suitable patients referred to the Specialist Outpatient Clinics. The PSC is staffed by musculoskeletal physiotherapists and is supported by a team of allied health professionals including physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and occupational therapists.

Patient progress is monitored at review consultations at the PSC. If indicated, the patient's condition is discussed with an orthopaedic consultant where further investigations may be arranged or the patient's referral may be upgraded for earlier review with a Specialist.

The PSC & MD operates in Specialist Outpatient Departments throughout the State.

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Neurological Rehabilitation

In-patients with neurological conditions such as strokes and Parkinson’s Disease and those requiring neurosurgery are assessed and treated by physiotherapists in their home ward or may be referred  to rehabilitation-specific wards, both on and off campus.

The on-site wards include the Acute Stroke Unit, the Neurosurgical Ward and the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Service Unit, while the Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit is located off-campus at the Rosemount Campus in Windsor.

Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit

Physiotherapists provide services to adult in-patients at the rehabilitation unit and out-patients at the on-site day hospital.

Patients assessed and treated include those with strokes, other neurological and neurosurgical conditions, complex orthopaedic and medical conditions as well as those with general mobility problems and a history of falls.

Physiotherapists work as part of a multi-professional team, aiming to assist patients to set and realise functional goals, maximise mobility in order to return home or to alternative accommodation.

Evidence based practice and clinical guidelines direct tailored individual and group treatment programs.

Referrals of adult outpatients to the day hospital are via General Practitioners only.

Day hospital enquiries may be directed to the Administration Officer: Telephone (07) 36241208, Fax (07) 36241213.

Education Classes

Education classes are held as required for back and neck care, post-breast cancer surgery, pre-total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) surgery patients, chronic pain, osteoporosis and self-management of chronic disability.

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Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Heart Failure Programs

Exercise and multidisiplinary education programs are conducted in the Physiotherapy Department for people with heart failure or chronic cardiorespiratory conditions.

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Amputee Service

The Amputee Clinic is conducted in the Physiotherapy Department every Monday from 2pm and reviews both inpatients and outpatients with upper and lower limb amputations.

Outreach clinics are held once a month at Redcliffe, Nambour and Toowoomba.

Outpatients may be referred directly to all these Clinics by faxed or posted referral from medical officers. Please contact us for a copy of our referral form.

Telephone: (07) 3646 7286
Facsimile: (07) 3646 1665

Any RBWH inpatient who has had or is about to undergo a major amputation must be referred as early as possible to the Amputee service for ongoing management. The Amputee service is available to consult on any patient who is considering amputation as a treatment option.  Current inpatients or outpatients who are known to our clinic may self refer to the Amputee Service at any time.

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Lymphoedema Service

All patients undergoing surgery at RBWH for breast or gynaecological cancer are seen by the physiotherapist pre-operatively and followed up post operatively as appropriate to identify and minimise the risk of developing lymphoedema.  Ongoing review and treatment is provided as necessary.

Lymphoedema of non cancer origin is also treated.

The Multidisciplinary Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic (MLAC)
The MLAC is held in the Physiotherapy Department on Thursday mornings.  It is staffed by a general practitioner, physiotherapist and occupational therapist.  The focus of this clinic is to:

  • identify if patients persistent existing swelling is lymphoedema; and
  • to assist in the management of complex cases of lymphoedema.

Referrals are accepted from GP's, Telephone: (07) 3646 4319.

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Physiotherapy, Women's and Newborn Services

The Physiotherapy Department offers services to patients of the Maternity, Gynaecology, Gynaeoncology and Neonatology areas of Women's and Newborn Services.


Physiotherapists run classes for exercise and well being in pregnancy and the postnatal period.  Pregnastics, Body Breath and Breathing and Mother and Baby exercise classes are available to all women who have birthed or are planning to give birth at the RBWH.

Phyiotherapists provide antenatal education with the midwifery staff during pregnancy. Classes are held Monday - Thursday evenings and Saturdays.

All women who give birth at the hospital are seen by a physiotherapist during their inpatient stay.  If for any reason the physiotherapist does not see an inpatient, outpatient follow-up can be arranged. For musculo-skeletal or pelvic floor problems, outpatient physiotherapy is available on referral from the medical practitioner or midwife.


Physiotherapists attend the urogynaecology clinic weekly.  Patients can be referred from clinics to outpatient physiotherapy for urinary and faecal incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders.

Patients having surgery are seen at a pre-admission clinic and during their hospital stay.


Women who have gynaecological cancer are seen by physiotherapists throughout their hospital stay. They are assessed at the pre-admission clinic and then seen daily following surgery to assist in returning to normal functioning. If necessary, further follow-up outpatient appointments at gynaeoncology clinics can be arranged.

Lymphoedema management is provided to those who develop the condition following surgery or radiotherapy treatment for gynaecological cancer.


Physiotherapists work with babies in the Grantley Stable Neonatal Unit. Follow-up is provided for babies who have ongoing issues needing further physiotherapy treatment. Babies are also seen at Infant Follow-up Clinics. A pre-term playgroup is held monthly for babies who were born before their due date. Physiotherapists see babies who were born prematurely for follow up at ages two and four at the Developmental Assessment Program (DAP).

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Level 2
Ned Hanlon Building
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Metro North Hospital and Health Service

0800 - 1630hrs Monday to Friday (Excluding Public Holidays)

Telephone: (07) 3646 4319
                      (07) 3646 7165

Facsimile:   (07) 3646 1665

(with the subject "Physiotherapy")

Last updated: 30 November 2012