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Adult CF Physiotherapy Services

The aims of the Physiotherapy team is to support you with CF to enable you to carry out physiotherapy treatments in line with National CF standards of care.

Our team covers both young people and adults and comprises of a Clinical Lead physiotherapists, Cory Dowdell and Jayne Trott, Specialist Physiotherapists; Helen Speedy (North Devon) and Alice Day, and an Exercise Therapist, Tom Kent. We also have a rotational physiotherapist working with the team.

Helen is based in NDDH and continues to provide our service within the North Devon Paediatric CF team. Tom is a full time exercise therapist who completes the exercise tests and offers support with individual exercise programmes.

Physiotherapy is made up of a number of components and some aspects can start from the time of diagnosis. Other components can start at different times and will be reviewed regularly at clinic appointments depending on the your needs.

The main components of physiotherapy for CF are:

  • Airway clearance treatment – including provision of equipment, education regarding cleaning, maintenance and infection control, ongoing assessment and modification of technique.
  • Nebuliser therapy – at times nebulised antibiotics, mucolytics and mucoactives (solutions that help break up mucus) may be used. It is essential that the timing of these nebulisers with airway clearance treatments is correct. Physiotherapists can help with ensuring you are able to take these treatments safely and in the best way possible. They can also help you with establishing routines and with sorting out any issues with your equipment including replacing consumables as recommended. To help trouble shoot your nebuliser equipment at home there are trouble shooting guides in the Physiotherapy resource section.
  • Exercise therapy – physical activity and exercise is essential for people with CF to maintain lung and bone health. Our exercise therapist Tom is available to offer personnel training advice in different settings. Please contact Tom on 07929764681 
  • At annual review an exercise test will be advised, usually a Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Test or a bleep test are offered. The CF Trust support Beam for CF, an online platform available through
  • Musculoskeletal assessment and posture advice and education.
  • Continence issues are common complaint in people with CF caused by repeated coughing causing pressure on the bladder. We an offer advice, education and treatment to help retrain the pelvic floor to help alleviate or control any leakage. The Squeezy app helps men and women with cystic fibrosis remember to do their pelvic floor exercises and to do them in the right way. The app is endorsed by the CF Trust. Please see here for further information.

When you come to the clinic

You will be offered a review by a physiotherapist at clinic who will:

  • ask you about your current physiotherapy regime
  • review airway clearance techniques
  • take a cough swab or a sputum sample
  • provide ongoing exercise advice and encouragement

Things to remember when you come to the clinic:

  • Please bring any airway clearance equipment to clinic so that technique and the equipment can be assessed
  • Always bring your nebuliser equipment to annual review so that the equipment can be assessed
  • At the time of your annual review clinic visit an exercise test will also be performed – you should always bring or wear appropriate footwear and clothing to undertake the exercise test.

Virtual Clinic

As a new service introduced during shielding many appointments are now being offered as virtual clinic appointments over a video link via the platform Attend Anywhere. The URL for your video consultation is URL

Things to prepare prior to your physio appointment;

  • Please ensure you have completed your spirometry and Oxygen Saturations.
  • It is helpful to have any equipment to hand for your review such as your nebuliser, airway clearance equipment or spirometer

Home Visits

We offer home visits to support patients during an exacerbation of their symptoms or when new treatments are being introducing.


If you are admitted to hospital

Throughout the duration of the admission you will be seen by a physiotherapist to carry out:

  • airway clearance treatment
  • exercise sessions
  • ongoing education and advice
  • musculoskeletal assessment and treatment if required
  • continence advice, education and treatment if required

Please bring all airway clearance equipment, nebuliser equipment and spirometry with you on admission

You will be provided with the correct nebuliser or airway clearance device if needed, together with a set number of consumables each year. It is your responsibility where possible to keep the equipment in good condition and free from damage.

Please see resources section for videos demonstrating how to assemble your nebuliser device

Should you experience a problem with any of the devices please contact the physiotherapy team for advice on 07881787584 or email: and bring to your next appointment.

We have lots of resources to help you support your physiotherapy. If you can’t see what you want in the resources please ask the team. If you would prefer to receive in booklet form please ask.

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