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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic our services have changed. All first appointments are being offered virtually via video in the first instance. During the video call we will ask you questions and visually assess you, so try to ensure you are somewhere quiet and private where you are able to fully interact.

If you are unable to use video, the assessment will be by telephone. We offer personalised exercise video programmes and advice using Physitrack. If you are unable to access this we will post or email the information and exercises to you.

Virtual classes and other useful links

For virtual classes, if you have been directed to these by our physiotherapy services, follow the appropriate link:


Further useful links to help you manage your condition:

  • Information to manage knee conditions and pain management resources here
  • Management of common musculoskeletal conditions here
  • Our physiotherapists show you how to help manage musculoskeletal conditions in a series of videos here
  • How to recover your pre-Covid activity levels if you have had Covid-19 here


Our secondary care physiotherapy service provides assessment and treatment for patients referred by an orthopaedic consultant or rheumatologist. This includes physiotherapy following orthopaedic surgery, post fractures and to aid management of rheumatological conditions.

The Joint Health Service is an integrated musculoskeletal (MSK) service providing specialist assessment, investigations and treatment for patients with MSK conditions (problems with muscles, joints or spine) who are referred by their GP.

It is a multidisciplinary team including an MSK physiotherapy consultant, MSK Doctors, physiotherapists, advanced practice physiotherapists and specialist hand therapists.

The service offers a “one-stop shop” approach providing assessment and treatment plus access to investigations where indicated.

Referrals can also be diverted to most secondary care services if required at any point e.g. orthopaedics, pain clinic, rheumatology and neurosurgery.

Referrals to Joint Health are made by GP surgeries in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. This can be done in two ways:

  • E-referral. A referral is sent electronically by your GP
  • GP directed self-referral. Most patients are advised by their GP to book their appointment directly themselves using this self-referral form


Joint Health and local GP practices all share the same patient records meaning a quicker process for patients and easier access to investigation results and letters for GPs

Where will we treat you? Patients are seen at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals, Formby clinic, Ainsdale Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Tarleton Health Centre, Hillside Health Centre and Burscough Health Centre.

Your first appointment will be the first available rather than the nearest to your home but the option will then be given for future appointments at outlying clinics where appropriate. Please note currently due to Covid-19 we are not providing treatment at these satellite clinics.

Preparing for your appointment

An appointment for physiotherapy will include a detailed assessment of your condition including past medical history, medication and a physical examination. You will need to wear or bring suitable clothing to change into.

For a video or telephone assessment please be available at the allotted appointment time. It is important that you are in a suitable environment to move around as we will be assessing you. For video calls ensure you have privacy as we may ask to look at the body part that we are assessing.

If you have a knee problem, shorts or loose trousers would be appropriate as it is necessary to be able to see the injured area. In the case of a shoulder, neck or back problem, it may be necessary to remove your shirt or wear a top that exposes the relevant area.

If you are female or for religious reasons are not able to be seen by a male physiotherapist, it is possible to see a female physiotherapist, please inform us prior to your appointment.

Following this a treatment plan will be discussed and agreed with you. It is quite common to be sent home with further work to do following your appointment in the form of exercises. This is to reinforce the benefits of the treatment you have received and to achieve further improvement.

Your appointment will last about 30 minutes.

The Department accepts physiotherapy students from various universities on clinical placement. If you prefer not to be seen by a student physiotherapist, please inform us prior to your appointment.

What to have ready

  • Medication list
  • Shorts or vest if appropriate
  • Dates of follow up appointments

Services we offer

  • Video assessment via Attend Anywhere service
  • Telephone assessment where appropriate
  • Personal exercise plan
  • Group exercise classes
  • Self-management advice
  • Patient education sessions
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pelvic floor clinic
  • Hands on treatment
  • Provision of walking aids/splints/orthotics
  • Access to radiological investigations (x-ray, ultrasound scans and MRI)
  • Access to blood tests
  • Access to Neurophysiology investigations (Nerve Conduction Studies & EMG)
  • Soft tissue & joint injections
  • Ultrasound guided injections


The above is just an example of treatments available. The physiotherapist will discuss options and decide on a mutually agreed treatment plan in line with current evidence-based practice.

Where to find us and getting in touch

Service leads: Mrs Laura Atherton Consultant Physiotherapist; Dr Jim Kerss MSK doctor;
Dr Nigel Jones MSK doctor.

Southport hospital: Joint Health Service, Ground Floor, signposted from all entrances. Telephone 01704 704962.

Ormskirk hospital: Joint Health Service, Level 2, signposted from all entrances. Telephone 01704 704962.

01695 656268 |