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Physiotherapy Department

Hospital Location: 
Portiuncula University Hospital

Physiotherapy Department: Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe

  • Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help to reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care.
  • Physiotherapy is provided in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. The department is divided into individual areas of speciality, with each area led by a Senior Physiotherapist.
  • All referrals (both in-patient and out-patient) received are assessed by a physiotherapist and prioritised accordingly.
  • The Physiotherapy Department serves of the Eastern Galway and Western Midland area, treating those in need of physical rehabilitation for acute and chronic conditions.

Location: The Physiotherapy Department is on the ground floor of Portiuncula Hospital, on the corridor to the chapel.  It can be accessed from:

  • The front hall by turning left and taking the next right down to the last door on the left.
  • From the Consultant’s entrance under the canopy, taking the far right hand door from the entrance hall, going up the two small flights of steps, past the photocopier and going in the first door on the right on the long corridor.
  • From the Stores buildings at the back of the hospital by driving left around the back of Stores and following the towards the hospital, passing a bungalow on the left, towards the new ramp towards the double glass doors.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 08:00 – 16:45, last appointments are usually at 16:00.  The department is closed between 12:45 and 13:30.  Staff work different rosters so the full range of appointment times may not be automatically available to you.

Contact: There is a direct line to the department: 090 9648279. An answering machine service operates when the desk is not covered and out of hours. When leaving a message, please clearly state, your name, contact number and the name of your physiotherapist (if known).

We understand if you have to cancel and rearrange appointments, but we would appreciate at least 24 hours notice, if possible. If you think you are going to be late for your appointment please contact us and we will advise you if we need to change the time to allow a full treatment.

If we do not hear from a patient once an appointment has been made (over the phone or by post), we will not follow it up and the patient is discharged after 1 month if there has been no contact. If you repeatedly do not attend for your appointment without telling us in advance, we will discharge you from our care.

Out Patient Services

  • Musculoskeletal (acute and chronic)
  • Orthopaedics (acute and chronic)
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Respiratory Care (breathing pattern disorders, retained secretions, weak or persistent coughs)
  • Paediatrics (MSK conditions only as an out-patient)
  • Women’s Health
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Plastics
  • Frailty at the Front Door
  • Manual Handling

Out-patient referrals are accepted from GPs, Consultants or Physiotherapy colleagues. Treatment is by appointment only and there is no out-patient service at weekends.

Once a referral is received, it is classified in order of urgency on the basis of the information given. This system is tightly controlled in order to allow everyone fair access on the basis of clinical need only.

We use the following times as a guide to seeing the patient:

  • Urgent (recent traumas including fractures, soft tissue injuries, all children under 18 years
  • Routine (non-urgent or long standing conditions, those who have had Physiotherapy treatment for the same condition in the past)

Unfortunately, due to the pressure of our caseload, waiting times can be variable.

What to Expect

The first appointment may be a bit longer than a half hour as we will be assessing your condition as thoroughly as possible.  This will include a conversation about the problem (how it happened, what makes it worse, how does it affect your life etc.).

Then we will examine the area fully, generally out ruling the area above and below the problem area.  We will then give an explanation of the findings and an initial plan of the treatment.  Subsequent sessions will build on initial findings and reactions to different treatment modalities.

Due to GDPR requirements, we will not discuss your condition with anyone else without your expressed permission.  Also, as the department is small and we are aware of infection control guidelines, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate allowing you to have someone with you (this does not apply to children or vulnerable patients).

What to Bring

It is recommended that you bring a list of the medications that you are taking at the time of assessment.  It is advised that you wear loose clothing and, if you feel it necessary, bring a pair of shorts.

In Patient Services

  • Respiratory Care
  • Care of the Older Person
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Stroke and In-patient rehabilitation
  • Women’s Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • General mobilisation therapy (based mainly on the wards)

Referrals to the in-patient service are made by the team doctors on the wards. There is no waiting list for in-patient treatment.  Referrals should be made by the Consultants’ team as early as possible after admission.

Provision of Equipment

In Patient: Appropriate equipment is provided for use when in the hospital and some pieces are given out for home use.  Specialised equipment may have to be ordered and delivery may take some time.

Out Patient: Small pieces of stock equipment are supplied as part of the treatment process but in some situations more specialised pieces may be recommended.  If this is the case, and if you have a medical card, we can order it via Community Care (who sanctions the payment).  If you do not have a medical card we will recommend a piece and arrange fitted (if required) but you will be responsible for payment.

Orthotics: An Orthotist from APOS visits on a monthly basis and runs a clinic in the Physiotherapy Department.  Referrals to this clinic come from your Physiotherapist or your GP.

Links with Other Services

At the end of treatment, whether as an in or out patient, it may be necessary to refer you to a different service.  If required, we will link with Community Physiotherapy staff in your local area to continue treatment, or to your GP / Consultant / other Allied Health Professional.  If you require equipment, we will provide it as outlined above.


As with other areas in the hospital we have students working alongside us in the Physiotherapy Department.  You may be attended by a student but this person is closely supervised by the Senior Physiotherapist at all times.

Depending on staffing levels, we accommodate students from all the Irish Universities and from some overseas Universities.

We do not participate in the Transition Year (TY) Life Facilitation Programme but we will consider applications for one day observation for students considering Physiotherapy as a career during the CAO contemplation time (end 5th year, early 6th year).

Requests, in writing, are essential, either hard copy or email to

Contact Phone Numbers

Main Hospital Reception: 090 9648200

Physiotherapy Direct Line: 090 9648279 090 9624690

Róisín O Hanlon, Physiotherapy Manager: 090 9624647,

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