Kesson Physio

What is the difference between NHS Physio and Private Physio?

May 10, 2021

It is not uncommon to hear patients wonder whether they will receive a ‘better’ level of healthcare privately compared to the NHS.

A common perception in the NHS vs Private debate is that if you are paying for it, it must be better. The question I am answering today is, ‘Is Private Physiotherapy better than NHS Physiotherapy’?

You should know that Physiotherapists working in either the Private or NHS sector likely have the same expertise, qualifications and are governed by the same professional bodies.  In both sectors Physiotherapists are required to abide by stringent guidelines, to do what is clinically and morally right in any and all circumstances.

If this is the case, then what are the advantages of seeing a Private Physiotherapist?

Waiting times:

The NHS is saddled with the everyday demands on our healthcare system, which often means you can wait up to 18 weeks to begin treatment, that’s once your GP has referred you. This can be further delayed by waiting to get that all important initial GP appointment in the first place. With Private Physiotherapy patients can refer themselves directly to their Physiotherapist avoiding this initial delay. We also receive proportionately less referrals than NHS Physiotherapy services, which means our patients have shorter waiting times and get to be seen sooner.


Private physiotherapists are also able to be held to account by their patients and not who holds the contract. Our treatment plans are not restricted by only being allowed a certain number, usually less than 6 sessions, nor performance targets that require a patient is discharged when they are only 70% better. We can work with our patients to agree a treatment plan that is centred around their own goals and ambitions.  Our performance and ability to help someone get ‘better’ is measured directly by each patient we treat.  This makes it personal and keeps us razor focused!


A great advantage of choosing to see a Physiotherapist privately is that it allows you to vote with your feet. You decide who you see and when and where you see them. In their defence NHS rules do allow patients to make choices about the services they receive. However it is not always transparent what these choices are and it can be difficult to access the information needed to make an informed decision within your 10 minute GP appointment.


Finally, the facilities of a private Physiotherapy clinic should always be an obvious advantage. Overall they tend to be more comfortable, modern and visually attractive, with an enhanced level of customer care.

Seeing all the advantages of accessing Private Physiotherapy, why wouldn’t you?

A common reason that stops patients considering it is its cost. The NHS provides treatment free at the point of access 365 days of the year. Starting a course of treatment privately with a Physiotherapist can feel a bit ‘open ended’ with there being no fixed fee for a course of treatment and instead you usually pay for appointments as you go.

A Kesson Physiotherapy patient typically spends up to £250 a year with us on the Physiotherapy treatment. You as the patient make the decision on whether this level of investment is worth the peace of mind of having your condition professionally assessed, together with the reassurance of knowing you are on the path to sustained recovery.

To help you understand how much Physiotherapy you are likely to require, please read our blog ‘Staying the Course’ and for more information on our prices go to our Physiotherapy page on the website.

If you feel you are ready to take control of your condition and want us to help you to Move Better Live Better, then please get in touch and find out how.

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