Vestibular Therapy/physio on the NHS

Hi All,

As many of you know I’ve been having troubles with visual vertigo as part of my MAV symptoms. Dr S prescribed a course of physio on the NHS to help with this. I notice the balance centre at Medway has an excellent reputation and was set up by Dr S himself. Have any of you used this facility yourself and if so what did you make of it ? Is it very technically advanced etc ?

Also my first appt is on the 14th August, which feels like an age away. Have any of you managed to bring your appt forward by paying, almost as a private patient ?

I called Dr S sec who was very unhelpful and had no idea.



Hi Dean,

Yes you can see Nicola Harris privately. You will get an appointment a lot sooner

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the info but I was actually hoping to pay to get in sooner at the NHS centre due to its reputation and link with DR S.

Your appt isn’t far off now is it, let us know how it goes ?


Nicola Harris is the physio at the NHS. It’s the same person. She works with Dr S privately and at the NHS hospital. You will probably get more time with her privately and be able to see her sooner

You can’t pay money to get an NHS appointment sooner

Rob, that’s really helpful thanks - good find.

The only reason I mentioned paying on the NHS is that I’ve done it twice before for scans, it took a 6 week wait down to the next day! Incredible really.

Thanks again


Hi Dean I actually never saw Nicola I saw a lady called Kay and I’m presuming they all pretty much do the same kind of things they just teach you some exercises to do 3 times a day at home did Dr S not give you a piece of paper with some on to be getting on with?

Hi shenay,

Oh dear, sounds like I’m going to be dissappointed in the balance centre. Had read so many good things and understood they had some advanced equipment and computer program’s there.

He didn’t give me any excercises but to be honest it’s probably all the stuff I’ve done in the past which I can’t tolerate without triggering the migraine. Don’t think there is much point in getting seen sooner by the looks of things. I really had hoped there would be something more advanced for the visual vertigo aspect of things.

At least me expectations are realistically set now - haha!


Don’t get me wrong they might have something totally different planned for you don’t be disappointed to be fair Dr S really knows his stuff x

At my first appt with Dr S he gave me a sheet of VRT exercises - pretty standard ones. Then at my second appt with him he arranged for me to see the VRT lady, Kay Simmonds, that Shenay mentions. She showed me some more VRT exercises slightly more challenging than the other ones and she gave me a sheet with them on.

Dean, I am wondering if the equipment you were hoping for is in fact what they use more in diagnosis like the rotary chair etc. I do know someone who went to the National Hospital in London and she was told to watch scenes on a computer with lots of movement etc. I am not sure if she did that there or at home though.

I did VRT for the first 3.5 years EVERY day and to be honest I can’t say that it did anything for me. It didn’t seem to have any effect on me feeling better or going worse, so now that I have been diagnosed with VM and not vestibular damage then I am just not that motivated to do it anymore. I try to do it every few days, if and when I remember. It does make me feel more dizzy for about 5 minutes after I do it x

Hi jem,

I wasn’t expecting the rotary chair/ diagnostic stuff, more like computer program’s which challenge the vestibular system. When I looked it up there seemed to be various computer program’s etc for this and expected them to be available at this balance centre - maybe they will be. I had been doing a set of gaze stabilisation excercises - eye tracking etc but they would lead to migraines later in the day, maybe the headaches are a bit better I can attempt them again.

Sorry to hear they were of no help to you, for most they seem to he helpful but you can certainly say you have them your best shot after 3 years!

I have tinnitus which whilst very annoying is actually a good gauge of whether the VRT is having an impact. The ringing will almost always get louder following a VRT session then quiet down again. When I first recovered you could hear it getting quieter every day - it was very encouraging.

How are you going on the meds btw ?


Dean, yes you might get some computer based ones. If you do, let us know. I think VRT can definitely help some people but for others it seems to make them worse or have no effect but worth everyone giving it a go!

I am still sticking on 100mg Gabapentin at the moment. Seem to be doing okay but never feel very confident saying that. How are you? x