Physiotherapy Department News Summer 2018

Physiotherapy Department marks its first birthday! : The Physiotherapy Department at Hospital 4 marked its 1st birthday recently. Thanks to all those who came along to mark the occasion. We are well settled into our new home and are delighted with the new facilities for patients and staff alike.

Physiotherapists win Best poster prize at the Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Conference 2018 : Congratulations to Ruth Madigan and Helen Kavanagh (Clinical Specialist Physiotherapists in Stroke) along with DATHs colleagues for winning best poster prize at the recent IHF Stroke Conference for their work entitled "An investigation of physio practice for early mobilisation post-acute stroke in Ireland’. Congratulations also to members of our physiotherapy team who won best runner up poster for their work on the 7-day stroke service.

Physiotherapist Alice Waugh has a paper published in "General Hospital Psychiatry" Journal: Congratulations to Alice Waugh, Senior Physiotherapist, and colleagues on the publication of their research in General Hospital Psychiatry. Physiotherapists can play an important role in helping people with major mental illness to increase physical activity and reduce their metabolic risk.  Read the article here

Congratulations to Claire Murtagh, Senior Physiotherapist in Oncology: Claire was awarded best poster presentation at the St James's Hospital Clinical Audit and Quality Improvement Seminar in May 2018 for her work entitled "The addition of an outpatient Pink Pilates class to the physiotherapy service for surgical breast cancer patients"

St. James's Hospital Physiotherapy Department leading the way on health and wellbeing promotion: We have a very active health and wellbeing committee within the Department and we are proud of all our achievements in health and wellbeing promotion for staff and patients alike. Physiotherapists from the various specialities recently took part in the HSE Steps to Health Challenge 2018. Physiortherapy staff are also currently leadng weekly training runs for Hospital staff taking part in the the annual Liberties Fun Run in aid of the St James's Hospital Foundation.

#endpjparalysis: Physiotherapy staff on a number of wards completed the 70 day "End PJ Paralysis" challenge. The premise of "End PJ Paralysis" is about enabling hospitalised patients to get up, dressed and moving in order to prevent deconditioning. Since introducing this initiative 30% more patients are up and dressed by 12 pm each day in St. James's Hospital.

Congratulations to Joanne Dowds, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in ICU: Joanne has recently returned from Denmark after 5 weeks as part of the HOPE Exchange Programme. This Exchange Programme aims to lead to better understanding of the functioning of healthcare and hospital systems within the EU and neighbour countries, by facilitating co-operation and exchange of best practices.

Well done to outpatient physiotherapy staff on reducing the "DNA rate" : Well done to Outpatient staff in reducing the non attendance rate at outpatient physiotherapy clinics to 6.8%. Keeping this rate low enables us to see all of our patients sooner.

Preparation for CORU Registration : Physiotherapy staff are currently busy preparing for registration with CORU - Ireland's multi-profession health regulator. CORU's role is to protect the public through regulating the Health and Social Care Professions. For more information see

4 Newly appointed Clinical Specialists: Congrats to our 4 most recently appointed Clinical Specialist Physiotherapists - Yvonne Burke (Musculoskeletal) , Kate Tierney (Musculoskeletal Triage) , Sinead Coleman (Stroke 0.5 WTE) and Kate Devenney (COPD Outreach Team 0.5 WTE).

National Health and Social Care Professionals Day 2018 #wehscps: We were delighted to welcome Dr Emma Stokes, President World Confederation of Physical Therapists (WCPT) and former physiotherapist at St. James's Hospital to launch a breakfast meeting for SCOPe staff (Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Clinical Nutrition, Speech and Language Therapy) on 1 February 2018. Emma's key note speech was followed by presentations from each of the 5 SCOPe departments highlighting recent innovations in their respective areas.

Our next Open Day for secondary school students will be held on Thursday 1 November 2018 from 930am - 12 pm. Physiotherapists from the Department will give a brief overview of the assessment and management of patients from their specialty and demonstrate assessment and treatment techniques. There will plenty of opportunites to ask questions. Further information available from Michelle Mc Court or Conor Stout To register for the event please visit the following link

News from the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) service : An event "Practical ways of keeping well with MS was held on 22/5/2018 . It was an information and networking event for people recently diagnosed with MS and presentations were delivered by phyiostherapy, occupational therapy, medical social work, clinical nutrition and MS Ireland. Late last year, as a gesture of thanks for fundraising by MS service-users over recent times, a plaque was unveiled by MS patients to highlight the fundraising by patients and donation by pharmaceutical company Merck Serona which helped to purchase all the new gym equipment in the physiotherapy department.

Four Clinical Microsystems Coaches in the Physiotherapy Department: Congratulations to Niamh Murphy, Brid Wilson, Joanne Finn and Joanne Dowds who gained their Level 1 coaching credentials from Dartmouth Institute over the past year.  The coaches are continuing to facilitate improvement work with multidisciplinary teams across the Hospital. 

We value your feedback: We review over 4,000 new outpatients each year and provide over 12,000 treatment sessions to our patients annually. Every patient matters and their experience is very important to us. We collect and listen to feedback from patients and make changes to our service to improve the patient experience. In the summer of 2017, all of our staff grade physiotherapists undertook a service user feedback project to gain closer insights into our services and give us ideas for improvements. Please take a minute to look at feedback from our service users in 2017.

Feedback from service users of the Physiotherapy Department 2017 (PDF 818Kb)

Meet our staff

Physiotherapy Manager- Niamh Murphy

Niamh Murphy has been the physiotherapy manager in St James’s Hospital since 2004. She is a very experienced manager and leader, currently managing 70 physiotherapy staff and coordinating physiotherapy services to 1040 beds and 8,500 OPD referrals a year. Niamh is also part of the SCOPe executive management team.

Niamh graduated from the UCD School of Physiotherapy in 1993 and is a highly experienced physiotherapist having worked as the COPD Outreach Co-ordinator in SJH, a senior physiotherapist in respiratory in SJH, a staff grade therapist in Beaumont hospital and also as a staff grade in Australia and the USA.

Niamh also brings significant post graduate qualifications to her role having completed an MSc in Exercise physiology in TCD (2001), a Higher Diploma Healthcare management in RCSI (2005), a HSE Leadership programme (2014) and a Quality Improvement course (2013). She is very interested and passionate about research, quality improvement and leadership and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).


Deputy Physiotherapy Manager- Brid Wilson

Brid graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1999. She has worked in SJH since 2001, progressing from Staff Grade to Senior Grade and also Clinical Specialist in the Emergency Department. Brid became deputy physiotherapy manager in SJH in 2016. Brid has also worked as a physiotherapist in Sydney, Australia in 2000 and in St. Vincent’s University Hospital prior to coming to St James’s Hospital.

In 2009 Brid completed an MSc in Quality & Safety in Healthcare Management. In addition, she also completed a certificate in Spinal Manual Therapy in 2006 and a certificate in LEAN healthcare management in 2014. She is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists.

Brid’s interests include Quality & Process Improvement in Healthcare, Research & Innovation and Leadership. In the specialty of Emergency Department care she has expertise in musculoskeletal injuries and discharge facilitation in older persons.

Protocols for Physiotherapists

These protocols have been developed by the Consultants, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists here in St James's Hospital. These protocols are to guide therapists in the treatment of patients following surgery. You are welcome to download these protocols.

Extensor Tendon Zone 1 and 2 Repair (PDF 114Kb)

Extensor Tendon Zone 3 and 4 Repair (PDF 116Kb)

Extensor Tendon Zone 5-8 Repair (PDF 79Kb)

Extensor Tendon Zone 5-8 including EPL repair (PDF 73Kb)

Volar plate repair (PDF 70Kb)

Flexor Tendon Repair (PDF 120Kb)

Digital Nerve Repair (PDF 69Kb)

Median and Ulnar Nerve Repair (PDF 74Kb)

Dupuytrens Release (PDF 66Kb)

Related Links

SJH Occupational Therapy Department

SJH Clinical Nutrition Department

SJH Speech and Language Therapy Department

SJH Social Work Department

Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Health and Social Care Professionals Council

St. James Hospital Foundation

Physiotherapy Department, Trinity College Dublin

Marie Keating Foundation

Irish Cancer Society

Irish Heart Foundation

Advice on quitting smoking

Arthritis Ireland

Dublin City Council- Passport for Leisure

Irish Osteoporosis Society

Chronic Pain-

A Lust for Life

Irish MS Society