East Cheshire Physiotherapy Service

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The Respiratory Physiotherapy outpatient service is based at Macclesfield District General Hospital within the outpatient therapy department. We treat adult patients of who require respiratory Physiotherapy for a lung condition. This may include helping to prepare someone from surgery and helping their recovery post-surgery also. Referrals to the service come from GP’s, consultants and other health care professionals.

What is a Respiratory Physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists who specialise in treating patients with respiratory disease have a background in respiratory physiology, exercise and muscle physiology, exercise training, and the principles of behaviour change.
Respiratory Physiotherapy services can be used at all ages and at all stages of disease, from early diagnosis, through chronic illness, to acute episodes and care at the terminal stage.

What do Respiratory Physiotherapists do?
They will provide a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s respiratory function, breathing pattern, respiratory muscle function and exercise capacity. This may include assessment of how someone moves and functions, which is important, as this can impact on normal function in people with respiratory conditions. Based on this information, an evidence-based therapy plan is developed through assessment.

They will look at things such as:

How someone can maintain or improve exercise tolerance

Improving functional abilities (i.e. carrying out daily tasks)

Maintaining and improving physical activity, supporting patients towards improved and healthy lifestyles

They look at where patients may have reduce breathlessness and the work of breathing and seek to improve the efficiency of someone’s breathing

In the hospital setting they will work on intensive care units and wards to support with weaning from mechanical ventilation and set up noninvasive mechanical ventilation

The employ techniques and treatment approaches to mobilise and aid the expectoration of secretions (coughing up of mucus)

Provide education to patients to improve knowledge and understanding to support with self-management

They gave give exercises and advice to reduce upper back (thoracic) pain

Common conditions treated:


You can access outpatient respiratory physiotherapy via a referral from your GP, consultant or another health care professional.  This may involve a one to one assessment & treatment or could be provided in the form of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme. For people unable to access this programme and due to the current covid-19 pandemic this pulmonary rehabilitation programme is available online via this link