PAL (Physiotherapy Advice Line)

The Physiotherapy Advice Line (PAL) provides a full physiotherapy assessment over the phone (or via video chat).
The assessment allows for the collection of subjective and objective measurements which lead to a diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis known as an initial assessment (IA).

The Physiotherapist then routes the patient to one of the following options:

Home exercises and advice
Home exercises and advice

Provided as pictures, videos and an interactive app with a 10 day follow up call from the physio.

Onward referral for further investigations
Onward referral for further investigations

Via their GP or Occupational Health Department.

Referral for face to face assessment
Referral for face to face assessment

Provided by our network of over 780 Physiotherapy practices around the country.

Patients who stay within the PAL service (the majority) are monitored in 2 main ways:


Via our interactive app.

Measuring compliance, for example, when or how many times are exercises accessed.


Or via periodic email/phone calls

Suitable for patients who do not access the exercises electonically.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10


Appropriate patients are then re-assessed at 10 days to measure the impact of the exercises/advice where a second routing decision can be made i.e. the patient can be referred into the face to face service or onwards as required.

Each major step (initial assessment and review) generates a report including pain levels, restriction on motion, ability to perform normal work role, advice on modification of duties (if required), diagnosis, and prognosis (each section is only provided if appropriate e.g. not every patient has pain and not every patient requires duties modification).

Current statistics show that 60% of patients entering the PAL service can be discharged following the 10 day process, with no requirement for face-to-face (F2F) treatment. This provides an average saving of 30% against a full F2F delivery model, with no change in clinical outcomes.


  • All acute patients (condition less than 12 weeks old).

  • All musculoskeletal conditions (one body area per referral e.g. neck/shoulder pain is acceptable, but neck/ankle pain would require two referrals e.g. one for the neck and one for the ankle).

  • Not under the care of another physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor or consultant physician.

NOT for

  • Neurological conditions e.g. stroke patients

  • Following on from surgery (post-surgery rehabilitation)

  • Rheumatological patients e.g. fibromyalgia

  • Chronic conditions (condition older than 12 weeks)

  • Work place assessment

Delivery methods

Phone or video call

  • Feature: Remote Initial Assessment

  • Advantage: No need to travel

  • Benefit: Reduces the down time/cost associated patients traveling to treatment during working hours, as well as the requirement to travel whilst in pain.

Exercises and advice

Available on phone, tablet, computer and paper 

  • Feature: Video exercises

  • Advantage: Patient can see how to correctly perform the exercise

  • Benefit: This removes misinterpretation of the exercises and the requirement to re-engage with the physio to ensure they are being carried out correctly. This in turn reduces the amount of time the patient requires with the physio and therefore the cost of delivery.

Time required

15 min Triage
45 min Initial Assessment (IA)
30 min 10 day follow up

Overall turnaround time

Assessment within

1.4 Working Days on Average

Within a maximum of 3 working days

Expected report return date within

2 Days Normally

Report suitable for

  • Patient status (how much pain, how much movement, yellow flags, red flags)

  • Physio opinion on work capability

  • Suggestions for modified duties

  • Suggestions for workplace adjustments and/or assessments

  • Probable diagnosis and prognosis

Report NOT suitable for

  • Medico legal cases

  • Work place adaptions (an actual onsite review required)

  • Assessment of sickness absence

  • Multiple body areas (e.g. ankle and neck)

Referral guidance

  • The patient must have an acute (less than 12-week-old or a flare up of an existing problem within 12 weeks) muscular skeletal problem centred around a specific area of the body (e.g. back, neck, leg).

  • Include any other relevant medical information that is known

PAL Video

PAL won the prestigious Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Service Excellence Award (Self-Management) in 2012. It combines all advantages of expert physiotherapy intervention with state of the art technology.

Watch our PAL video

Proud to support...

Private Business

Physio Med Helps John Lewis Partership save over 41,000 working days

Based on the 2,324 Partners who engaged with PAL over the 12 months, JLP estimates it saved 41,010 working days, delivering an estimated saving of more than £2,676,000.

Read more

Public Organisations

Physio Med provide 18.5 to 1 ROI for NHS Trust

We provide East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust  employees with fast-track access to treatment to support staff health and wellbeing, improve productivity and reduce sickness absence.

Read more

Our Happy Clients

  • Arla
  • NHS
  • Kier
  • Civil Nuclear Constabulary
  • PPG Industries

For more information call now on 0113 853 0500.

What People Say

Our workforce have full access to physiotherapists and advice on their health and wellbeing. Our team love the service and we have seen a noticeable improvement in our sickness absence records. Our latest report from Physio Med showed we had a 10:1 return on investment.

John Lewis Partnership

Having never used this service before i was surprised at how easy it was to arrange and the physio exercises came through to me instantly. I can now access these exercises wherever I am which is fantastic. They really do make a difference.

James S

The service was quick and user friendly. The video exercises were particularly helpful and relatively easy to incorporate in several parts of my day as some could be done at my desk whilst undertaking work.

Alan P

I found this service very good. The service line was efficient, friendly and very helpful and also very very nice.

Amy R

I was impressed by the speed and efficiency of the service.

Stacey S

I was very impressed with the swift & prompt service which has I believe made real difference to my progress.

Sally T

Very impressed with speed of receiving exercise regime, ease of use, usage of video examples etc.

Nigel L

First class service. Both Physios that I spoke to were very friendly and explained everything clearly. The videos provided are of excellent quality.

Adrian H

I felt at ease with the adviser, and the information given both over the phone and then the exercises given were very beneficial and have helped.

Amanda L

Phone contact was made at appointment times and the advice given was extremely helpful. I also received emails with pictures of how to complete the exercises which proved very useful.

John L

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