All referrals to services to treat musculoskeletal conditions are sent to the Wirral Integrated Musculoskeletal (MSK) Triage Service. This is a specialist service for patients aged 16 or over which consists of therapists and doctors who all specialise in MSK medicine.
Musculoskeletal conditions (joint and muscle problems) can affect the spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, hip, knee, foot/ankle. The service aims to ensure people are seen by the right clinician first time and are supported to manage their condition.
What this means for you
- Your GP will send your referral to the triage service. It will be assessed by a team of musculoskeletal specialist clinicians. The clinician will notify the booking team of the most appropriate service to meet your needs.
- If you need to see a consultant e.g. Orthopaedics, Rheumatology or Pain Management, you have a choice of provider and consultant. If you have a provider in mind when you see your GP, they can include this in the referral.
- The specialist may think that you will benefit from seeing a therapist e.g. Physiotherapy or Podiatry. We have services across the Wirral for you to choose from.
- In some cases, you may benefit from a face to face assessment with an advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapist or a specialist doctor to find out more information from you and ensure that you are directed to the correct service for your problem. These assessment clinics are called MCAS clinics and are held in the Physio departments at Arrowe Park, Clatterbridge, St Catherine’s and Victoria Central Hospitals. At this appointment.
You will be encouraged to discuss treatment options and ask questions. You may be given advice on how you can self manage your condition. The clinician may refer you for diagnostic investigations if clinically necessary: X-ray, MRI, nerve conduction studies, ultrasound scans.
- You may be referred on for treatment.
- Your GP will be updated about the outcome of your assessment and treatment.
We work with other NHS organisations to provide MSK treatment. If required, information about you will be shared with that organisation to enable them to treat you effectively. You may be offered an appointment at Spire Murrayfield, a private provider with an NHS Contract. Patients with underlying health conditions (eg heart disease) are not referred to Spire because they do not have emergency facilities in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.