Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics and speech and language therapy

Rehabilitation is offered by our Allied Health Professions Team (AHPs). They aim to provide the opportunity to patients and carers to improve quality of life by:

  • minimising the effects of disease or its treatment;
  • helping people to maintain independence;
  • helping people get relief from any distressing symptoms.
  • Providing rehabilitation, education and advice in order to maximise and maintain physical independence for as long as possible.

Our expert team works closely with the medical, nursing and psychosocial staff in order to co-ordinate care in a safe and effective way. Both individual and group sessions are available and referrals come from a number of sources, including members of the hospice multi-professional team and in some cases from patients themselves.


The main focus for our physiotherapy service is the rehabilitation gym, although we do carry out sessions either on the inpatient wards or in some circumstances as a one off visit to patients’ homes. Physiotherapy can help to alleviate or control a range of symptoms or physical disabilities including neurological, respiratory, orthopaedic, and musculoskeletal conditions.

Patients may be given a personalised exercise programme to do at home, work with a physio on a weekly basis in the gym or be referred to one of our group exercise classes.

View our video on The Gym at St Christopher’s, which may be useful for patients and families/carers to watch.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy sessions are usually carried out either on the wards, in the Anniversary Centre or at a patient’s home. Occupational Therapists can advise and assist with rearranging or adapting the home environment more suitably for a patient’s needs. They can also offer practice runs to trial an activity or a particular piece of equipment before going home.

Dietitian and Speech and Language Therapy

Input from a Dietitian and a Speech and Language therapist at St Christopher’s is also available by arrangement. Specialist advice and intervention can be provided for people where appropriate.

Breathlessness Management Service (BMS)

Breathlessness can be a frightening and restrictive symptom that many people with life threatening illness experience. We will help you to understand this symptom and teach you strategies to cope with it better. The course is for patients and their carers and consists of:

  • An individual assessment with a therapist (30mins)
  • Three small group sessions giving you skills and tips to cope with your breathlessness (Thursdays 12-1pm)
  • An individual review with a therapist (30 mins)

The Living Well at Home Team

The Living Well at Home Team consists of  therapists and volunteers working with someone in their own home to help them work towards their personal goal. This might be around improving mobility, coping with breathlessness or fatigue, or enabling someone to manage activities of daily living better. The process one someone has been referred is:

  • Initial assessment done by a member of the Rehab team to develop a rehab plan
  • A volunteer is matched and will visit for 6-8 sessions to work on the rehab plan together
  • A review is completed.

Fit for Life and Wellbeing

At St Christopher’s we appreciate that living with a chronic, long term or terminal illness can be difficult. Fit for Life & Wellbeing is a free interactive course for anyone living in St Christopher’s catchment area who is suffering from a life limiting, long term, or chronic illness.

You do not have to be under our service already but will come under our service specifically for this input, for the duration of the course. It will take place every Wednesday 3-5pm at St Christopher’s, Sydenham.

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