Our service consists of highly skilled and experienced physiotherapists who work alongside specialist podiatrists and occupational therapists to provide accessible, high-quality and efficient rehabilitation services for NHS patients in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
Musculoskeletal (bone, joint, muscle and soft tissue) problems are incredibly common. Every year 20% of the general population in the UK will see their GP about an issue affecting them that is caused by a musculoskeletal problem. Up to 1 in 10 adults in a year will see their GP regarding problems with their back alone. Often these issues would be best suited to having an assessment and rehabilitation through a physiotherapist.
Our new online assessment system allows you to refer yourself to a specialised physiotherapist who will be able to review the details you have provided and guide you towards what treatment might be best for your complaint.
What should I do?
Simply click on the self-referral option (clickable link) which will take you through to our self-assessment page.
If you have been given a card from your GP relating to our self-assessment service, you will simply follow the instructions above.
If you do not have access to the internet, please call 01493 809977.
What happens next?
If you are able to access the self-assessment page you will be asked to register some details to create a secure account. After this, you will be able to complete the assessment yourself following the questions and prompts. You are able to complete this assessment over a period of time, in other words you do not have to complete it all in one go. Please note, if you leave too much time between starting and finishing the assessment, you may be asked to compete it again.
If you have no access to the internet and therefore cannot complete the self-assessment, call 01493 809977 whereby you will be transferred to AHPS (Allied Health Professions Suffolk). Follow the prompts on the automated phone system after which you will speak with a member of staff. This member of staff is not a physiotherapist but will arrange a convenient time to call you back to complete the online assessment. The phone call to complete the online assessment will be with a member of the admin team and will take approximately 10 minutes and you will be asked a series of questions about your complaint. Once you have completed the assessment the details you have given will be passed to our senior physiotherapy team within East Coast Community Healthcare.
I’ve completed my online assessment (or on the phone) what should I expect next?
The details you have provided will be reviewed and assessed by our senior physiotherapists. They will make a decision about you complaint and make a decision if they feel that some simple advice and exercises would be the best option to help you or if they feel you need to be reviewed in clinic. Sometimes we will arrange for a further detailed phone call to discuss your complaint in more depth, this is known as Physio Direct.
If you have provided an email address, an email will be sent to you with a letter explaining the physiotherapist’s decision and any exercises or advice they have deemed the right ones for you. If the physio has made a decision that you would be best to be seen in clinic or receive a further detailed assessment via the phone, this will be sent in an email.
If you have not provided an email address or do not have one, all of the options discussed in the previous paragraph will be sent via the post.
What happens then?
When you call, the receptionist will ask you a few basic questions and then a convenient appointment will be made for a Physiotherapist to speak to you over the phone for an assessment. This will take about 20 minutes.
The call may be made from a withheld number, so please be prepared to answer this call or inform the reception team, when the appointment is booked, if your phone blocks withheld calls.
You will need to ensure that you are by your phone at the agreed time in order for the assessment to take place. The initial assessment is completed over the phone.
This session will cover the same detailed series of questions relating to your problem that you would have if you were referred in to the department. In most cases, enough information can be gained via a telephone assessment to allow the Physiotherapist to provide useful advice and prescribe appropriate exercises for your problem.
If the Physiotherapist feels it necessary, they will arrange a face-to-face appointment for you.
In some cases they may advise you to go to see your GP.
Your GP will be kept informed of events.
Please note: If you are currently pregnant can you please notify the receptionist when you call to arrange an appointment.
What happens if I don't get better?
You will be advised to contact us again within a specified period of time if you do not improve as anticipated. In this instance, a Physiotherapist will review your case and treatment programme. It is likely that they will offer a face–to-face appointment or advise you to see your GP at this stage.
What to expect
Attending a department/ clinic
If it has been decided that your complaint would be best managed with a face to face appointment in clinic, here are a few things to consider…
Make your preference clear
If you would prefer to be seen by a male or a female physiotherapist, please make this obvious when booking your appointment. We will always aim to provide you with your choice but occasionally circumstances may mean that we may not be able to give you a choice.
What to wear
Wear suitable clothing – shorts or skirts are best for leg and foot problems, a vest or loose fitting t-shirt would be best for upper body and neck issues. Your physiotherapist may ask you to remove some of your clothes to help with the assessment. They will always ensure you are happy to do this but if you would prefer not to remove an item of clothing for whatever reason then please tell your physiotherapist and they will be able to adapt your assessment.
What will they ask me?
Be prepared to answer some questions relating to your complaint. These may include both the physcial and emotional aspects of your issue. Most useful for your physiotherapist would be to know where the problem is, how and when it started, what makes it worse and what makes it better. You will be asked more than these questions but if you are able to think around these before you have your assessment it will help your physiotherapist work out what the problem could be. We will also ask you about what medication you are currently taking, so please bring a recent prescription with you.
What else should I think about?
Consider what it is that you want to achieve. Your physiotherapist will make sure that whatever treatment is deemed appropriate is linked to what you want to improve. You will be asked to consider a goal or goals as this helps make your treatment more effective. A goal might not always be linked to the reduction of pain, it might be something more personal like being able to walk to the shops, comb your hair, return to sport/ work or simply get out of the chair more easily.
What will be expected of me?
Be prepared to be a partner in your rehabilitation. Your treatment will work best if you are actively involved at all levels. Your physiotherapist will encourage you to take an active role by setting goals with you and sharing decision making with you. If you are given an exercise or lifestyle program to complete, taking an active role would mean that you complete the program. If difficulties arise whilst completing the program because you don’t understand, cannot complete it properly or it makes the problem worse, please discuss this with your physiotherapist.
What if I have a question?
Ask questions. Your physiotherapist will be happy to answer any questions that you may have relating to your complaint. Your rehabilitation will be most effective if you understand your complaint, why it might be happening and how you can effectively manage it. Therefore your physiotherapist will actively encourage you to ask questions.
Following your assessment, your physiotherapist will work with you to provide a rehabilitation program that suits you and that will help you manage your problem most effectively.
Treatment options may include:
Manual therapy (hands on treatment)
Health Coaching (lifestyle management) and other talking therapies
Work place and ergonomic advice
Acupuncture (may not be available at every clinic)
Please note: classes do not operate at every clinic.
What is the Great Yarmouth and Waveney MSK Triage Service?
The Great Yarmouth and Waveney Musculoskeletal (MSK) Triage Service helps with all conditions to do with your bones, joints, spine, muscles and ligaments. The aim of the service is to ensure that people get the right treatment as soon as possible. The service covers physiotherapy, rheumatology, pain management and orthopedics.
The service is run by physiotherapists. It provides a full MSK assessment and treatment service, including tests such as x-rays where required.
Why have I been referred to the service?
Many MSK conditions cause problems such as pain or stiffness in bones or joints, the spine, muscles and ligaments. Most can be diagnosed and treated by your GP. However, your GP may decide you may need more specialised assessment, and perhaps treatment, than they can offer. They will then refer you to the Great Yarmouth and Waveney MSK Triage service.
What are the advantages of the service?
This service makes sure you are seen by the right person for your condition as quickly as possible. It offers access to a range of suitable treatments and options for your care. It treats you as a person, and makes sure you are involved in all your treatment decisions. The service will work with you to achieve the best outcomes for you.
How do I get an appointment?
Your GP will complete a referral form and send this to the MSK service. The form includes full information including test results. An experienced team of professionals will look at this information. The team may be able to tell what treatment you need from this information alone, or they may decide they need to see you themselves to assess you and discuss things with you. If an appointment is needed, the team will contact you directly to arrange this. Please make sure that your GP has the best contact number for you so that someone can phone you to make your appointment. If you are going on holiday or are unavailable for more than two weeks from the date of your referral please let your GP know.
The MSK service is based at several sites across Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and depending on the assessment you need you will be offered a choice of location to suit you.
If you have not heard from the service within two weeks of your GP making the referral please contact the service on 01502 718920 between 08:00 and 16:00, Monday to Friday.
What happens at my appointment?
An experienced professional will make a full assessment of your condition. This will include finding out about the effect your condition is having on your life and your plans. If necessary, you will be referred for additional tests. After this, the service will organise what happens next.
What treatment might I have?
Many MSK conditions will not need an operation. The MSK triage team will usually offer self-help advice and exercises to help you manage your condition yourself. Other treatments could include:
Pain management group sessions
Referral to a hospital consultant in pain management, rheumatology or orthopaedics.
If you need to be referred to a hospital consultant the team will contact you to confirm which hospital you would like to go to. Your referral will then be sent to a consultant at your chosen hospital.
Following assessment and/or treatment, we will write to your GP with full information about your care. You will also be given advice, where relevant, on how to deal with your condition in the future or prevent further problems.
What shall I wear and bring to my appointment?
At your appointment you may be examined so we recommend that you wear loose fitting clothing. Please bring a list of any medication that you are currently taking.
If you need to contact the service if you have problems with your appointment or need to cancel your appointment, please call: 01502 718920 between 08:00 and 16:00, Monday to Friday.
Please note that if you do not attend your appointment you will not be offered a further appointment unless your GP requests it.
What does that mean?
These definitions are specifically for the Great Yarmouth and Waveney MSK Triage service and may mean different things in different areas.
Musculoskeletal, this is anything to do with your bones, joints, spine, muscles and ligaments.
Physiotherapists help people by movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.
A photographic or digital image, usually of the bone used to provide information and assist with diagnosis.
The process by which the referrals received are assessed to ensure that they are seen by the correct clinical teams and all the information is available.
Medical speciality concerned with the skeletal system (bones), muscles and ligaments, particularly when an operation might be needed.
Medical speciality concerned with the treatment of MSK conditions such as all the types of arthritis.
Medical Speciality concerned with the diagnosis and management of long-term pain.
Giving you extra understanding so you have ways to deal with your problem yourself.
For general enquires or to arrange your first appointment with a physiotherapist call us on 01493 809977 (from 7am to 8pm Monday to Sunday)
Or fill in our contact form online and we'll be in touch