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Our Service

Our service consists of highly skilled and experienced physiotherapists who work alongside specialist podiatrists, occupational therapists, assistants and exercise professionals to provide accessible, high-quality and efficient rehabilitation services for NHS patients in the Norfolk and Waveney area.

We offer:


Alongside traditional referrals that might be sent on your behalf by your GP team and/ or a hospital, we offer a self-referral service.
Please note, self-referral is not available into our MATS team.

What does self-referral mean?

It means you can refer yourself to our physiotherapy service without needing to see your GP or needing your GP to complete the referral for you.

Is self-referral a new thing?

No, lots of health and wellbeing services (but not all) allow you to refer yourself. We have had self-referral into physiotherapy for over 15 years however, are now broadening this out into the rest of the areas we cover.

We are now working with some of our local hospitals to allow some of their patients to refer themselves to our service after visiting A&E or having had an operation.

What are the benefits of self-referral?

There are many benefits to self-referral however, two of the main ones are that it reduces the workload for the GP teams and also gives you complete control over your physiotherapy referral as you can complete it any time, any day, any place.

Who can self-refer?

Our self-referral system is for patients who require our help for musculoskeletal (MSK) related issues such as muscle and joint issues.

Anyone over 16 years old with an MSK-related complaint can refer themselves for physiotherapy.

Is there anyone who can’t self-refer?

Whilst self-referral is open to most people, it may not be suitable for:

  • If you have low back pain with any new or worsening of existing bladder or bowel issues; numbness in your genitals, inner thighs or around anus; pain into both legs as well as your back; loss of control of your legs and/or a change in your normal sexual function (more details can be found here: Recent Lower Back Pain)
  • If you have a hot, red and swollen joint (especially if you also feel feverish or unwell).
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is strongly advised that you seek urgent medical attention at your nearest A&E department.
  • If you have suffered an injury within the last 72 hours.
  • If your symptoms have dramatically worsened recently.
  • If you feel unwell, feverish or are having night sweats alongside your symptoms.
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is advised that you seek medical attention by calling 111 or via your GP.
  • If you are between 12 and 16 years old with an MSK-related issue, you will need to ask your GP team to refer you to our service.
  • If you have learning or pronounced communications difficulties, you will need to ask your GP team to refer you to our service.
  • If you require a home visit for your MSK-related issue, you will need your GP team to refer you to our service.
  • If you have a non-MSK related issue e.g. continence problems or a neurological complaint (i.e. Stroke or Parkinsons), you will need to talk to your GP team as you will need a referral to another more appropriate team.

Refer yourself to physiotherapy in 3 easy steps


We are pleased to be able to offer our patients a range of options when it comes to appointments.

We offer face to face clinic appointments alongside phone and video appointments.

If you have referred yourself or have been referred to physiotherapy, you may have some questions about what to expect. We’ve summarised some of the key points about all of our appointment types to help you get the most out of your session with us.

Face to face (clinic) appointments: 

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 clear when booking your appointment.

We will always aim to provide you with your preferred choice but occasionally circumstances may mean that we are unable to do so.

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, 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 physical and emotional aspects of your issue.

The physiotherapist will want to know where the problem is, how and when it started, what makes it worse and what makes it better.

You will be asked additional questions, but if you are able to think about these before you have your assessment, it will help your physiotherapist to 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/s, 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 programme to complete, taking an active role would mean that you complete the programme.

If difficulties arise whilst completing the programme 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.

Phone appointments:

For some people, a phone assessment is the most convenient way to access physiotherapy. You might not know, but a skilled physiotherapist can assess an awful lot over the phone and would be able to start you on a course of treatment even after a few short questions.

What should I expect?

Firstly, you have to be registered with our service to be eligible to receive a phone or video call by one of our physiotherapists.

If you have booked a phone appointment, you will be called either by a withheld number or 01493 809977 on the day of the appointment.

If you require a call at a specific time, you must make this clear when booking with our call centre or choose your preferred time when booking on the Airmid app.

Please make every effort to be by your phone on the day of the appointment.

What will the physio speak to me about?

This phone appointment will cover the same detailed series of questions relating to your problem that you would have if you were seeing a physio in a department. In most cases, enough information can be gained via a phone assessment to allow the physiotherapist to provide useful advice and prescribe appropriate exercises for your problem.

If after your phone call you and your physiotherapist decide the right rehabilitation path for you, including future appointments.

In some cases, they may advise you to go and see your GP.

Your GP will be kept informed of events.

What happens after my phone appointment?

You and your physiotherapist will decide on what is the most appropriate course of action for your symptoms. If the decision is to arrange another appointment, this is something you will be asked to do yourself.

Your physio will explain how to book your appointment as there are two options. You can find more information about our Flexible and innovative appointment booking systems below

Video appointments:

Video appointments remain available to all of our patients.

Once you have referred yourself or have been referred, if you would like a video appointment please make this clear to our call centre colleagues when booking (01493 809977) or when booking via your Airmid app.

Once we have your referral, we offer a choice of how you can book your physiotherapy appointment with us.


Book quickly and easily with the Airmid app
(more information about Airmid can be found here: Airmid


Call 01493 809977 (Mon-Sun 0700-2000)
(please note, phone lines are often busy)

What do I need to know about booking?

If 4 weeks has passed since you completed your self-referral or when your GP team/ hospital sent your referral and you haven’t received your appointment invitation from physiotherapy, please call 01493 809977.

Do remember to check your text messages, Airmid app and emails (including junk folder) for your appointment invitation before calling.

Following your assessment, your physiotherapist will work with you to provide a rehabilitation programme that suits you and that will help you manage your problem most effectively.

Treatment options may include:

• Exercise therapy
• Manual therapy (hands-on treatment)
• Health Coaching (lifestyle management) and other talking therapies
• Workplace and ergonomic advice
• Acupuncture (may not be available at every clinic)
• Classes

Please note: classes run from most, but not all, of our departments.

What is the is the Musculoskeletal/Orthopaedic Assessment and Triage Service?

The Musculoskeletal/Orthopaedic Assessment and 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 orthopaedics.

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 that you need more specialised assessment, and perhaps treatment, than they can offer. They will then refer you to the Norfolk and Waveney MATs team.

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 ensure 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 Norfolk 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 01493 809977 between 07:00 and 20:00, Monday to Sunday.

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:

• Physiotherapy
• Exercise classes
• Pain management group sessions
• Injection therapy
• 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 to prevent further problems.

What shall I wear and bring to my appointment?

You may be examined at your appointment, 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 or need to cancel your appointment, please call: 01493 809977 between 07:00 and 20:00, Monday to Sunday.

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 Norfolk and Waveney MATs team and may mean different things in different areas.

MSK Musculoskeletal: this is anything to do with your bones, joints, spine, muscles and ligaments.
Physiotherapy/physiotherapist Physiotherapists help people by movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.
X-ray A photographic or digital image (usually of the bone) used to provide information and assist with diagnosis.
Triage 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.
Orthopaedics Medical speciality concerned with the skeletal system (bones), muscles and ligaments, particularly when an operation might be needed.
Rheumatology Medical speciality concerned with the treatment of MSK conditions, such as all the types of arthritis.
Pain management Medical speciality concerned with the diagnosis and management of long-term pain.
Self-help/self-management Giving you extra understanding so you have ways to deal with your problem yourself.

Health Coaching

In addition to being a registered physiotherapist, your clinician has also undergone training in Health Coaching techniques. This information explains what Health Coaching is.

What is Health Coaching?

Health Coaching is an approach that guides and supports people to be active participants in managing their own health conditions. In other words, it aims to make sure that you are involved in making decisions about your health and how you manage it.

What is different about Health Coaching?

Traditionally, doctors and therapists would have simply told patients what to do when it come to their health. It is now understood that most of this advice is only followed about 10% of the time, making it not particularly effective. This is not because people involved are lazy or cannot be bothered, usually it is because there are practical reasons that make the advice hard to follow, such as difficulties with time, money or other commitments; or because the advice does not fit with what might be important to them. Health Coaching involves your physiotherapist working with you, to help you to identify the things that you yourself feel able to do to improve your health condition. Making decisions together is much more effective than simply being told what to do.

Why is Health Coaching a good idea for me?

For many health conditions, such as back, knee or neck pain, what you do yourself is as important, if not more important, than what your physiotherapist does. To get the best results, working together with your physiotherapist, where you explore what you can do to help yourself alongside what your physiotherapist might also think would help, is the winning combination. In other words, if you rely on your physiotherapist to come up with all the ideas and make all the decisions, you may find that the results aren’t as good as they could be. Health Coaching is a way of inviting you to identify the changes that will work best for you and, alongside your physiotherapist, work towards managing your health complaint.

What sort of changes are we talking about?

This varies from person to person as we are all different. The point of Health Coaching is to help you to work out what is best for you. It is likely that most health complaints can be better managed if we are a bit fitter, manage our stress better or get a little more sleep, and it could be that Health Coaching helps explore how these might be fitted into your rehabilitation programme.

Every appointment that is missed costs the NHS money. It also means that other people in need have to wait longer for help.

If you fail to attend your appointment without letting us know beforehand, you will be discharged from Physiotherapy on the same day.

More information on our attendance (or missed appointments) policy can be found in our 'DNA (Did Not Attend) policy' here.

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