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When to refer to MSK CATS

To support this service model MSK pathways providing advice regarding referral routes and information to support differential diagnosis have been developed and agreed in partnership by hospital and community clinicians and GP colleagues. These are available on the MSK Pathways webpage.

The pathways are condition specific but for ease of reference have been categorised by body area.

The referral routes detailed within the pathways include:


 MSK Referral image 

Where appropriate, the recommendation within the pathway will be to refer to the Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (MSK CATS). Typically this will be suggested where:

  • Specialist advice and intervention is required but surgery is not currently indicated
  • There are signs of altered peripheral neurology and neural dynamics
  • The patient has not previously responded to
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Orthotics
  • Diagnosis is unclear


Patients exhibiting red flag signs or symptoms should be referred directly to secondary care.

The MSK CATS will be provided by a multidisciplinary team and supported by orthopaedic consultants.

To ensure patients are assessed and treated by a clinician with the appropriate clinical skills and expertise the MSK CATS clinic sessions will be linked to specific pathways. Hence the Choose and Book clinics reflect this arrangement.

The MSK CATS will operate a GP telephone line to provide advice regarding patient management and referral route/options. Tel: 01709 424346. This will be available between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Friday.


Contact us

Musculoskeletal Services 

General enquiries:  

Fax: 01709 426600 

Rotherham Hospital
Moorgate Road
S60 2UD 


MSK image