Community Musculoskeletal Service

Referral to the Musculoskeletal (MSK) service has changed. Patients are requested to self- your condition at home prior to seeking a physiotherapy referral. We use the getUBetter app to help you do this.

The getUBetter app is now available to all patients. It’s a free, easy-to-use tool helping you to self-manage your muscle, bone, and joint (MSK) injuries and conditions.

New joint and muscle problems are common and include shoulder, neck, back and knee problems. Many people will have had these at some point in their life. Most of these problems are not serious and improve or get better quickly with self management.

Should you not get any better, the app has self-referral built within it. This means that if your condition doesn’t follow the expected recovery, you will prompted by the app to fill in the self-referral form, which will be emailed to us straight from the app.

Once you have done this, you do NOT have to go to your GP for a referral. We will be able to offer you an appointment straight from your filled in self-referral form.

You can still contact your GP surgery if;

  • You have accessed the getUBetter app and your joint and muscle problems are not improving
  • Your joint and muscle problems are getting worse and/or are limiting your ability to work or care for a dependent.
  • You develop new symptoms such as pins and needles, worsening weakness in your arms or legs or problems with your balance.

After three months your joint and muscle problems have not improved. Although we strongly encourage you to use the self-referral form. GP surgeries are under a lot of strain and we want to help them by referring less patients to them. Once you have sent your self-referral, we will triage it within 48h and if there is anything urgent on the form, you will be offered an appointment within 10 days.

Joint and muscle problems rarely indicate a more serious condition;

  • If you get new symptoms of feeling unwell, pain at night that causes problems sleeping or significant joint swelling contact your GP surgery.
  • If you get a new hot, red, swollen joint this may be an infection in the joint. This needs emergency treatment so go to accident and emergency on the same day.
  • Very rarely back pain with leg pain can affect the nerves that supply your bladder and bowel. This is called Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES). If you get these symptoms you may need emergency treatment and you should go to accident and emergency on the same day.