The Department of Health is extremely proud to announce the launch of the first form available for completion and submission entirely online. A simple self-referral request form for Physiotherapy Services can now be completed and submitted online via the Department of Health website.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK, said: “It is testament to the hard work of both the Physiotherapy Service and the e-Business Team that this has been possible following the launch of the Department’s new website. This is a major first for the Isle of Man Department of Health and places us streets ahead of the UK NHS in online customer service provision. Embracing internet technology in order to improve customer service and access to services is an important element in the Department of Health ‘Strategy for the Future of Health Services in the Isle of Man’.”
Steph Maddrell, Physiotherapist, said: “This is an exciting initiative for the Physiotherapy Service. The response to the launch of the self-referral route has been astounding, patients are commenting positively on the early help, and guidance they now have access to. The online referral form provides patients with another easy way to submit a self-referral request, at a time and a place convenient to them. The launch of the self-referral route has made a considerable impact on how the physiotherapy service is provided. The computerised patient administration system has made central booking possible across the service. This means that the patient can telephone to make an appointment, at a Physiotherapy Centre of their choice, within two working days of the receipt of the online or paper self-referral. The patient’s online submission is acknowledged with a message on their screen giving details the new patient line telephone number, which is open for two hours each weekday morning.”
The Department of Health has worked closely with the Manx Blind Welfare Society (MBWS) and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), to ensure that this e-form and all health e-forms produced in the future are developed to ensure full accessibility for people with visual difficulties. The availability of e-services will provide the customer with flexibility to access information and services wherever and whenever this best suits their needs.
The new online form available at http://www.gov.im/health/services/Hospitals/Physiotherapy/selfref.xml provides patients, who have online access, with an exceptionally quick way to make a Physiotherapy self-referral request at any time of the day, from any location via a computer or mobile device. An instant acknowledgment of receipt is provided using an automated email reply system.
Once the form is submitted whether online, by post or by hand, the Physiotherapy Service ask that patients:
· Telephone the New Patient Line two days afterwards for a first appointment
· The New Patient Line telephone number is (01624) 642119
· This line is open from Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 10:00am
No appointment will be made until the patient contacts the service after submission of the form. If the patient has not contacted the Physiotherapy Service within a month of submitting the self-referral form, the referral will be discharged and the GP informed by letter.
For those patients without online access, or who would prefer to submit a paper form, copies of the self-referral leaflet and form are available at:
· The three Physiotherapy Centres
o Community Health Centre, Westmoreland Road, Douglas
o Thie Rosien, Castletown Road, Port Erin
o Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital, Bowring Road, Ramsey
· GP surgeries
· Noble’s Hospital reception
· High-street pharmacies
The Physiotherapy Service historically received 3,665 referrals per year, which potentially created a waiting list of over 12 months. By introducing self-referral, it is anticipated that demand will increase to 5,000 referrals per year. Self-referral will allow for the increase in demand by reducing the number of treatments needed because the person opts in to the service earlier, when they most need it. The rate of did-not-attend occurrences will significantly reduce, which has already enabled 45% more new patients to be seen compared to the same period in 2011. Early physiotherapy invention for muscular-skeletal disorders improves the patient’s response to therapy and provides education and self-management strategies to help people understand how best to manage their condition.