Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service – Wigan Borough

Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service

Description of the Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service

The service assesses patients with disorders and injuries of the bones and muscles (orthopaedics).

The aim of the clinic is to assess patients and determine the most appropriate course of action to manage and improve their symptoms.

This service allows patients to be assessed and, where required, investigated and treated quickly.

The MSK CATS Service can assess, diagnose and treat many different musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthirits
  • Sports injuries
  • Joint pains (hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow and hand problems)
  • Nerve entrapment, such as carpal tunnel etc)
  • Foot problems, such as bunions, planter fasciitis
  • Biomechanical problems in need of orthotics (artificial supports or braces)

Patients have historically waited for over six months to be seen by orthopaedic services. However, around 60 to 70% of patients did not actually need to see an orthopaedic surgeon,  making waiting times unnecessarily long.  The MSK CATS service ensures that only patients who need to see a surgeon do so. This reduces waiting times and is a better use of resources.


How can people access the service?

Patients are referred by their GP for an orthopaedic assessment at the MSK CATS Service.

What will referral to MSK CATS involve?

Clients will be assessed by an experienced healthcare professional with advanced assessment and diagnostic skills. They may be an experienced Orthopaedic Consultant or an Extended Scope Practitioner (ESP) from a physiotherapy or podiatry background.

Clients can expect that their appointment may last between 20 and 60 minutes depending on the nature of the problem. Many questions will be asked by the healthcare professional about their problem and general medical health along with a physical examination.

Once a diagnosis is reached the healthcare professional will decide upon, and arrange the most appropriate treatment plan. This can include physiotherapy, podiatry, orthotics, advice or exercises, an injection or referral for surgery. The team can also refer clients to a neurosurgeon from the Walton Centre who will hold a clinic at Platt Bridge Health Centre, Wigan.


Bridgewater MSK CATS and MSK Physiotherapy services have adopted the AQP definition of Urgent to assist in referral management.

Please ensure your referral contains one or more of the following points to enable us to offer your patient an urgent appointment:

  • Patient dependent on strong analgesics e.g Tramadol
  • Severe sleep disturbance due to condition
  • Clinical condition likely to significantly and quickly deteriorate without intervention.
  • Severe impairment of activities of daily living.
  • Deteriorating neurological symptoms

Please ensure a correct daytime contact telephone number is included on the referral to assist this process and avoid delay.

If you wish to discuss this further or any specific case / query, please do not hesitate to contact Jo Barnfield, Clinical manager for the MSK service on 01925 251405 or joanne.barnfield@bridgewater.nhs.uk.


Where is the service offered?

The MSK CATS currently provides services from three clinics across the Wigan borough.  The locations and details are given below:

Leigh Health Centre
The Avenue
Leigh
WN7 1HR
Telephone: 01942 483388

Wigan Health Centre
Boston House
Frog Lane
Wigan
WN6 7LB
Telephone: 01942 482261

Platt Bridge Health Centre
Platt Bridge
Rivington Avenue
Platt Bridge
WN2 5NG
Telephone: 01942 482400


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