Physiotherapy Services Department

NHS Shetland's Physiotherapy Service is based in the Gilbert Bain Hospital and works with people throughout Shetland. This includes seeing patients in Health Centres, Schools and their own homes.

Self Referrals

You can now self refer to NHS Physiotherapy, no GP referral required - please download the form below, or pick up a copy at your local health centre, leisure centre, chemist or the library. Forms should be completed and returned to: Physiotherapy Department, Gilbert Bain Hospital, South Road, Lerwick, ZE1 0TB.

Before you come to physio you could try some of the advice or exercises on the NHS inform "MSK Zone" - most muscle and joint problems and injuries improve with time and simple exercises - they might even save you a trip to physio!

There are lots of things that you can do to improve your own health, or help yourself and your family stay healthy. For information and resources about healthy eating, physical activity, stopping smoking, and lots more visit the Health Improvement pages.

When visiting the Physiotherapy Department in the Gilbert Bain Hospital please ask at the Main Reception.

What We Do

Physiotherapists work with a broad range of physical problems, in particular those associated with neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The following are just some examples of the areas Shetland's Physiotherapists work in:

  • Care of older people - maintaining their mobility and independence.
  • Stroke patients - helping people with paralysed limbs to restore normal movement.
  • Paediatrics - helping children with conditions such as cerebral palsy and spinal bifida.
  • Community - treating a wide range of patients at home or in local Health Centres. To find out more details please go to the Community Healthcare Index Page

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function, movement and maximising potential:

  • It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well being.
  • It is science based.
  • The exercise of clinical judgment and informed interpretation is at its core.

What does treatment involve?

Before any action is taken, the physiotherapist will assess your condition, diagnose the problem and help you to understand what's wrong. They will work with you to develop a treatment plan which will include advice on how you can help yourself.


The law has now changed to protect legally the title "Physiotherapist". Anyone working as a physiotherapist has to be registered with the Health Professions Council.

Physiotherapists use a variety of treatments

For example:

  • Exercise programmes - designed to improve mobility and strengthen muscles.
  • Manipulation and mobilisation - to reduce pain and stiffness.
  • Electrotherapy - for example, ultrasound to speed up the healing process.
  • Acupuncture - used by some Physiotherapists qualified to practice this technique.

Physiotherapy Guidelines

Useful Links

Children's Physiotherapy Advice Leaflets

© NHS Shetland 2015