Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (MSK CATS) - Salford Royal

Musculoskeletal problems refer to disorders of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints.  

They can affect all areas of the body including the spine, arms, legs, hands and feet.

MSK problems typically include:

•    Back or neck pain
•    Nerve compression (e.g. Sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome)
•    Frozen shoulders
•    Tendon Pain
•    Osteoarthritis
•    Foot pain
•    Soft tissue injuries
•    Sports injuries
•    General joint or muscle pain 
•    Long term conditions, such as chronic pain

The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (MSK CATS) is a ‘one-stop shop’ where problems are assessed, diagnosed and treated, where possible, in one appointment using a patient centred approach.  

This is a consultant led service with a team of Advanced Practitioners who specialise in MSK problems. Their advanced skills and knowledge of MSK disorders ensures that you will receive a thorough examination and expert advice on your condition and the available evidence-based treatments commonly used for that condition.

Our team of Advanced Practitioners can request further investigations, perform joint or soft tissue injections and prescribe certain medications, providing expert care, support and advice to patients, carer’s and other healthcare professionals in order to assess, diagnose, and manage these problems. 

The service works across both Walkden and Pendleton Gateways.

Services that we try and offer on the day of the appointment include:

  • X-ray
  • Injection Therapy
  • Blood tests
  • Qualified Independent Prescribers
  • Advice on subjects such as health promotion, lifestyle, weight management, and smoking cessation and signposting to the relevant services where appropriate

And if needed we can arrange for you to be seen later for:

  • Orthopaedic Consultant clinics
  • Spinal consultant clinics
  • Complex Pain management with access to Pain Psychologist

The service also has direct access to:

  • Nerve Conduction Studies (by a Consultant Neurophysiologist)
  • MRI Scans
  • Ultrasound scans
  • Rheumatology consultants
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Specialist Hand Therapy
  • Specialist Rheumatology Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry

Our Advanced Practitioners will ensure that you receive the most up-to-date and effective evidence based management plan for your problem.


Your appointment will last approximately 45 minutes.  You will be seen by an Advanced Practitioner who specialises in MSK conditions.

Initially you will have the opportunity to explain your problem and communicate your expectations for the session.  Further questions may be asked by the clinician to explore your problem in more detail.  Other questions will be asked relating to your past medical history, medication, work status and social interests so that the clinician has an appreciation of all aspects of your life and the implications of your problem on your quality of life.

Following this discussion there will be a physical examination, which normally involves suitably exposing the relevant areas of the body. Various movements will be observed and often clinical tests are carried out.  Other areas of the body are often screened to make sure the symptoms aren’t coming from elsewhere.

Once both of these aspects have been completed the clinician will discuss the diagnosis and available treatment options to allow the patient to decide which is best suited to them as an individual.  If appropriate, further investigations can be arranged and a follow up appointment would be made to discuss the results and available treatment options based on this information.  This can be done either by telephone or face to face to suit the patient.

Clinical examination commonly gives enough information to diagnose the problem.  Not all problems require further investigation and are only indicated if it will provide further information to change how your problem could be managed

Face to Face: Please wear loose comfortable clothing.  If you have a leg or back problem, please bring a pair of shorts or a loose fitting skirt.  The clinician may ask you to undress to your underwear in order to examine you.

Telephone: Please ensure you are available at the allocated appointment time and in an environment where you are comfortable to discuss your condition with the clinician.  The caller ID may appear as either 0161 789 7373 or withheld number on your telephone.  

Video: We are now able to provide video consultations for patients. Please ensure you are available at the allocated appointment time and in an environment where you are comfortable to discuss your condition with your clinician.  In order to undergo a video consultation, you will need the following: 

•    a private and well-lit area where you won’t be disturbed during the consultation
•    a good connection to the internet / WIFI signal
•    an android or iOS device
•    either somewhere to balance your device or somebody to hold it for you to help with visual assessment

2nd floor
Walkden Gateway
2 Smith Street 
M28 3EZ

2nd floor
Pendleton Gateway
1 Broadwalk
M6 5FX

To be referred into our service:

  • You must be 16yrs and over
  • You must be a Salford resident or registered with a Salford GP

You can be referred into our service via:

  • Your GP
  • Your local First Contact Practitioner
  • Your Salford Royal Hospital Consultant
  • Salford Royal Hospital physiotherapy service

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