The musculoskeletal service consists of a physiotherapy service and an interface service, providing local care in the borough of Ealing.

Our team of physiotherapists aim to improve your strength, mobility and independence, enabling you to understand and better manage your condition. As well as treating a specific injury or illness, we also assess and identify ways to help improve your general wellbeing and quality of life.

We aim to make sure you receive the most appropriate care near your home.

Helping yourself before your appointment

It’s important to stay active. Exercise is used to manage most musculoskeletal problems and to restore function as the inflammation and pain settles.


The physiotherapy service provides:

  • Telephone assessments
  • Specialist musculoskeletal assessments
  • Physiotherapy and exercise therapy
  • Exercise classes: including face-to-face and virtual classes. Your physiotherapist will discuss this with you if they feel you are appropriate.

The interface service provides:

  • Specialist musculoskeletal assessments in situations where through triage it has been decided that Physiotherapy input may not be of benefit
  • Radiological and pathological investigations
  • Onward referrals to secondary care services, where appropriate.

Other services provided within the service include:

  • Injection clinic: providing injections for specific musculoskeletal conditions
  • Shockwave clinic: providing ESWT for specific musculoskeletal conditions
  • Neurosurgery clinic: offering neurosurgical review for patients where spinal surgery may be indicated.

While you wait for your appointment there are some gentle exercises you can do, which may help manage your condition.

The link below provides a range of generic exercise videos to help you to start moving gently. There are videos for the back, neck, shoulder, knee and hip. Your therapist or doctor will go through these with you.  Do not attempt to do them without discussing them with your therapist or doctor first. 

Before you attempt any new exercise programme you must take into account your strength, flexibility and overall health and fitness. 

Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Please make sure you read the disclaimer at the start of each set of exercises.  As with any exercise, please stop if you feel dizzy or faint, or if you feel pain or discomfort at any time.

Browse NHS gentle exercise videos on YouTube

Referral information for GPs

To refer a patient, please email your referral to us at

We also offer guided self-referral, guided by a GP. 

Patients can only self-refer for routine appointments after consultation and agreement with their GP. If your patient meets our criteria for urgent referral, please refer them as usual. When you guide a patient to refer themselves for physiotherapy please use the code XaXBF in your patient record so that our booking team can check that the patient has been guided to refer themselves to our service.

Physiotherapy referrals

Please refer patients to this service where you feel that exercise and conservative management is required.

Interface referrals

Please only refer patients to this service when you feel that further investigations or onward referral is required.

Direct secondary care referrals

In cases where you feel it is clear that secondary care is required, you can complete an interface service referral and tick the box for secondary care. The referral will then be triaged by one of our senior clinicians and can be sent directly to secondary care if indicated.

Other important information

Please don't duplicate physiotherapy and interface referrals. This does not get patients seen any quicker as they will still be triaged to the appropriate waiting list, and will only slow down the triage process for other patients.

Lumps and bumps

The MSK service doesn't deal with lumps and bumps and you are required to follow the local lumps and bumps pathway. If a biopsy or further imaging is required please refer directly to orthopaedics.

Braces, splints and orthotics

Please note that the MSK Service doesn't provide such equipment, please refer directly to surgical appliances at Ealing Hospital.

Mobility aids

If a mobility aid is required please refer directly to the mobility clinic at Ealing Day Treatment Centre.


Can a patient self-refer for an urgent appointment? 

No. Patients can only self-refer for routine appointments after consultation and agreement with their GP. If your patient meets our criteria for urgent referral, please refer them as usual.

What is the read code to be added into the notes of the GP consultation? 

Please use the code XaXBF in your patient record.

We’re not a SystmOne practice – can our patients self-refer? 

Currently, if you don't use SystmOne, your patients won't be able to self-refer. This is because, at the moment, our self-referral process needs us to access your patient's electronic record, so that we can see the consultation date and confirm that the read code has been entered.

However, our providers are working on a solution which would allow us to view EMIS through SystmOne, which we hope will overcome this problem in the future.

What if my patient does not consent to share their electronic record with you? 

In this case, the patient can’t self-refer, so you must refer them yourself as usual.

Will self-referral patients be seen more quickly than when a referral is sent via email? 

No. All our routine physiotherapy patients are seen in waiting list order.