Your musculoskeletal (MCATTS) appointment

Specialist opinion for your muscle and joint problem

About your appointment

This information is for patients who have been referred to the musculoskeletal assessment service by their doctor. 

  • Before your appointment 

    • check which hospital or community clinic to go to, as we hold appointments in several locations.
    • please bring a list of any medicines you are taking
    • think about what to wear. The specialist physiotherapist you see at your appointment may carry out a physical examination, so wear suitable underwear. You may wish to bring a pair of shorts
    • please arrive on time. If you are more than 10 minutes late, we may not be able to see you, as this can cause delays for patients who have appointments after you
    • you can bring a relative or friend with you to your appointment if you wish
    • your appointment may last up to 40 minutes, so please allow this amount of time for your visit.
  • Cancelling or changing an appointment

    To reschedule or cancel an appointment or general enquiries please call:
    Tel: 020 7188 7612 (9.15am-4.30pm, Monday-Friday). Please try and give us at least 24 hours notice.

    If you call before or after these times you will be able to leave a voicemail message. To enable us to manage your call effectively please leave your:

    • your name
    • hospital number (if you have it)
    • name of person you are trying to contact
    • reason for call.

    Voicemail is also used when the line is busy, but messages are checked regularly throughout the day.

    If you do not come to your appointment and have not contacted us, we may discharge you back to your referring doctor.

    Rescheduling eReferrl (Choose and Book) appointments

    If you have been referred via eReferrals (previously known as Choose and Book), you can book or modify your appointment either by:

  • What you can expect at your appointment

    The clinic is run by clinical specialist physiotherapists and a specialist GP. All have advanced skills in assessing and managing musculoskeletal conditions.

    The assessment may take up to 40 minutes. It will include taking details of your medical history and a thorough physical examination and assessment. You may be asked to undress to an appropriate level as part of this assessment. You will have a chance to ask questions and will be given some advice about your condition.

    We may ask you to fill in questionnaires when you arrive. Please bring glasses if required. This is to help us assess the impact of your condition on your life and daily activities. This will also help us to evaluate the effectiveness of the service. We can help you with this if you need it.

  • After your appointment

    Following the initial assessment, we will recommend the best way to manage your condition. This may include:

    • investigations
    • referral to physiotherapy – this will be booked before you leave.
    • onward referral to other consultants, including those specialising in orthopaedics and rheumatology
    • referral for a joint or soft tissue injection (in some clinics you may be offered an injection on the day).

    You'll be given advice on managing your condition on the day of your appointment.

    When are investigations necessary?

    We follow national guidelines for the use of further investigations. A clinical specialist physiotherapist is able to request appropriate investigations when required. X-rays and blood tests can usually be performed on the same day as your appointment if they are needed.

    If you need the below investigations in some clinics you may be able to arrange an appointment over the phone whilst in clinic, otherwise an appointment will be posted to you.

    • MRI scans
    • ultrasound scan
    • nerve conduction studies.

    Assessment letters

    After any appointment or telephone consultation a letter will be sent to your GP and a copy sent to yourself. You can expect this up to two weeks, so please make sure we have your up to date contact details when you arrive at reception.

  • Further appointments

    Further appointments will be discussed with you at your initial assessment or we will contact you by telephone / letter with any investigation results, so please make sure we have your up to date contact details when you arrive at reception.  

Related services

Access to health records 

You have the right to request copies of any investigations, medical or physical assessments that are carried out.

See your health records for more information. Please note there maybe a charge for this.