Respiratory Physiotherapy


Respiratory, pulmonary and cardio-respiratory physiotherapy is an highly specialised area within physiotherapy.  It specialises in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of clients with diseases, injuries or conditions of the lungs and/or the heart.  It is also widely recognised that appropriate exercise can be effective in disease prevention and is integral to the management of those with a variety of cardiothoracic conditions.

Common conditions include;  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD –  Bronchiectasis; Emphysema; Bronchitis); Congestive heart failure (CCF);  respiratory infection (pneumonia);  Hypertension;  Angina;  Heart Disease; Heart or lung injury or surgery.

People with acute heart or lung conditions or flare-ups are often admitted to hospital and may encounter a respiratory or cardio-respiratory physiotherapist in hospital.  Physiotherapy input may or may not continue at home on discharge or as an outpatient.

Depending on your needs, physiotherapy treatment may include;

  • Deep breathing exercises (to encourage increased lung volumes and prevent lung infection and collapse)
  • Hands on techniques and breathing facilitation exercises (to expand lung capacity)
  • Chest percussions and vibrations (to help loosen secretions and make coughing for chest clearance easier)
  • Breathing and circulation exercises (to prevent further respiratory or vascular complications such as chest infection, and deep vein thrombosis)
  • Mobility assistance (to move safely in bed, sit up, stand and walk)
  • Mobility aids (advice, prescription, and instruction on how to safely use a walking aid)
  • Individually tailored exercises (to control breathing patterns, improve breathlessness, build muscle strength, build muscle endurance and improve general health and well being)
  • Ongoing fitness programmes and supervision of active rehabilitation

We are fortunate to have a highly experienced expert clinician who is able to see clients either in clinic or at your home or in a care home.   Caroline works at Salisbury Hospital and part-time for us;

CAROLINE WADE-SMITH  – BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc module History Taking & Physical examination, MSc Advanced Clinical Practice apprenticeship (starting October 2020), AACP trained (Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists), Foundation Management Course, Chartered Physiotherapist  Specialist in Respiratory Care


Since qualifying in 2003, Caroline has worked at The Royal Brompton (specialist respiratory hospital), Guys and St Thomas’, Southampton General, and now works at Salisbury District Hospital. In an acute patient setting, she has treated patients presenting with a wide variety of medical and respiratory conditions.

Her 20 years of extensive experience in physiotherapy includes working within intensive care and high dependency settings, post cardiothoracic surgery, medical wards, specialist respiratory work (including Cystic Fibrosis), A&E, and Acute Medical Units. She is currently the team lead in the OPAL team at Salisbury Hospital (Older Persons Assessment and Liaison team), seeing patients in A&E and on acute wards with a range of medical presentations including COPD/ Bronchiectasis and pneumonias.

Caroline currently supervises and teaches new qualified and student physios and takes part in the Salisbury hospital on-call rota for emergency respiratory patients.

Appointment options…

We either offer traditional appointments – a 45 minute first assessment and ongoing 45 minute follow ups.

We also recognise that some people benefit much more from a longer one off session including a comprehensive assessment coupled with comprehensive tailored advice and guidance on managing their condition.  After this session we offer an optional free 15 minute phone call a few weeks later and to determine whether further sessions may be required.  We find that this one off longer session approach works really well as there is so much to cover and often this can be done in the one highly effective and much longer session.  This is essentially charged as a double appointment.    

To find out more or arrange an appointment please get in touch.