Private rehab advice/experiences?


My Dad had a stroke almost a year ago and support for his rehabilitation from the NHS has been limited and ad hoc (especially physio, coronavirus aside). He lost feeling in his left side, and whilst he's made some progress (mainly thanks to my Mum), we think some professional support would really benefit him.

We're currently looking into whether private rehab would help his recovery and so I wondered if anyone had any experience of these services or any advice on what to look for? 


Hi gemmab - I had private physio after having received very little from the NHS. I had to fight to get neurophysio and only had 3 appointments with them 10mins a time. Although I learned a little bit how my left hand side was doing, it didn't fill me with any long term goals.  I paid for private physio with Nuffield Health which I had hoped would be hands on but it wasn't. Lots of talking and do this and that at home etc. First appointment was £60 and follow ups were £45. I finished with them after 4 appointments as there was no hands on treatment again.

I finally found a good physio who helped me immensly and was very hands on.  I have progressed well under her care.  She is co-owner of the rehab gym I go to as well.  Her charges are £35 for the first session and £33 for the follow ups.  

Private physio is a bit of a minefield so you really need to do lots of research and look at the reviews. Of course, a lot depends on your Dad's mobility too. If physio is required at home, this will probably involve travel costs too.  Hope you can get some help.  A lot of physios are now back working and have to be Covid secure and have a certificate to state this so something else to ask about too. 

Edited to say that my husband is in a hospital fund at work for both of us so we get 50% back off the charge for private physio.  

Support for stroke survivors is a disgrace. In essence, there isnt any.

I do yoga for disabled. Often called seated yoga. There are typically six of us being lead by one yogi. Its brilliant and I learn so much. £12 and the sessions are over two hours.

If you look for physio or counselling, it is essential to ensure the teachers are stroke trained.

I also went to the local stroke group. I live right on the edge of the area they cover and the journey is too much for me. But my three visits were good and it is just wonderful to be with others who know whats going on.

I also go to group relaxation therapy. Its not stroke related. Its free, found via my village church. Very useful.

Please think in terms of getting someone who will get Dad to help himself. Your support, Mums support etc is good but only Dad can effect recovery.

With this corona stuff all my sessions have stopped. I await reopening one day.

I think in terms of recovery being a) physical and (b) cognitive. I find the physical side very easy, but I was blessed with an amazing and fast initial physical recovery. The cognitive stuff is much harder. Progress to satisfactory after three years. I had the stroke when I was 68.


Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post Colin. It's helpful to know what you've found useful, and also the advice on what to look out for. I hope your activities start again soon.

Thanks for taking the time to reply onwardsandupwards it's useful to know about your experience with private physio, and also the tip for being covid safe, I wasn't aware of that.

Hi, I'm 3 years post stroke  and have been having private neuro physio therapy since my initial  7 weeks NHS physio  finished after I was discharged from hospital.  I have been lucky to find an excellent  neuro physiotherapist. Unfortunately  neuro physio  therapy  comes at a price ( £80 an hour) and we have spent nearly  £18,000 on sessions  over  the  last  3 years. Luckily  we have been  blessed with very generous  family and friends who have helped  us financially.

However, due to Covid 19 and the fact that  since March my husband has been  unable to work, my sessions  have stopped. Although with my husband's help I still keep to a daily exercise  regime  and go for a 20 min walk every day, weather  permitting.

I would just say, do your research  and check out  reviews.  Good luck. 

Regards Sue 



Hi Sue, thank you for this, it's very helpful. You mentioned you walk every day now, if you don't mind me asking, were you able to walk when you left hospital, or was that something the neuro physio helped with? 

I hope your sessions are able to start again soon.

Hi, I spent 12 weeks in a rehabilitation  unit at Orpington  Hospital  and was able to walk very slowly with a quad stick when I was discharged.  I have had weekly physio since then and now use a single stick and either  an AFO (artificial  foot orthotic) which holds my left foot in the correct position  or an FES machine (functional  electronic  stimulation).  I attend the National  Hospital  Queens Square London who supplied both pieces  of equipment. This is funded by my GP. I would be unable to walk safely  without this equipment.

I do potter about indoors  without  a stick but use a stick  when walking outside.   I hope this is useful, please feel free to  ask anything.

Regards  Sue 


Great answer and insight Colin! Thumbs up from me :) 


Hi Sue,

Thanks for sharing all of this, it is really useful.

Best wishes,



I have tone in my arm and leg NHS physio says she can't do anything for me she gave me exercises but not helping I was thinking of going private to a Neuro physio but have been told to be careful some just take your money and don't do much. Anyone have any suggestions?

Hi, I'm 3years  post stroke and have left sided paralysis. I walk with a stick and have been having private  neuro physio therapy  since my discharge from hospital  in June 2017. We were lucky and found an amazing neuro  physio, who has helped me immensely, although I still have no movement  in my left arm and hand. Neuro  Physio therapy  is very expensive, although  I my experience, worth every penny. Costs do vary, we were paying  £ 80 an hour before we all went into lockdown  in March and we have spent £19,000 on physio since my discharge  in 2017. As others have said, do lots of research  and read reviews. We were originally drawn to my physio because

she had  trained at the National  Hospital,  Queens  Square in London, where I had attended as an out patient. Good luck with your search. The right physio  can make a  world  of difference.

Regards  Sue 




Hi - You are right to be cautious. The 'in' thing now for physio seems to be focused on chatting and showing you how to do exercises yourself at home. I waited 9 months for NHS neuro physio which consisted of 3 x15 minute appointments. One was watching me walk, 2nd was having me stand on one leg and then the other and walking up some steps and the third was 're-aligning' me into the correct seating position which wasn't actually treatment but more of 'this is how you should be sat' and that was it - discharged - no longer needed to attend.  

I paid private for physio after much research and tried Nuffield Health.  They work on the same prinicple - chat and do this at home - £60 please! 

I was recommended my current physio who is also a neuro physio and co-owner of the rehab gym I go to twice a week. Her special interest is spinal injuries as well as stroke patients.  A lot depends on where you live as to the price charged. I paid £37 for a half hour session. Luckily, I am in the hospital fund so I get 50% of all physio costs back.  

A good place to start would be looking at the registered physio association website and seeing who specialises in stroke rehab. Ring around each one and see if you can get a feeling of how they work. Explain you are looking for 'hands on' treatment as you have already done exercises given and they haven't worked.  Also, ask if they are Covid safe and what safety arrangements they have in place to protect you.   Good luck and hope you get a good one soon.

I agree, NHS just doesn't cut the mustard as far as physiotherapy is concerned. Equally well, it is difficult to find a decent Neuro-physio privately.  Do some research, get recommendations.  I wish I had had the funds to do that. 6 1/2 years later I feel I am playing catch up because of lack of physio input in the beginning. I've now resorted to YouTube (Orlando Neuro Therapy channel) for answers, which isn't ideal, but better than nothing! I also have an ARNI trainer, who is worth her weight in gold, but hasn't visited since March, due to Covid restrictions.