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Physiotherapy (Community Musculoskeletal) Service

The Community Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service helps people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. Our aim is help patients manage pain and improve full function in addition to preventing re-injury and promoting health and wellbeing.

We carry out the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal problems which affect bones, joints and soft tissues. These generally affect the:

  • Spine – from the neck through to lower back
  • Hips, knees, feet and ankles
  • Shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands.

We also treat incontinence caused by weakness in the muscles of the pelvis. 

The Community Orthopedics Service (COS) provides specialist assessment, investigations if required and management or onward referral of musculoskeletal conditions which are serious or have not resolved following GP and Physiotherapy management. Physiotherapists who work in this service have received extensive training in areas such as blood and radiological investigations and treatments such as joint injections.
We are unable to accept a self-referral for this service.

Our staff can refer patients to other departments for specialist advice, an opinion for surgery or other specialist treatments such as spinal injections.

How Can I access Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service?

For patients aged 16 years and older, with a Sandwell GP, we accept GP referrals, those from other health care professionals, and self-referrals in most circumstances.

To self-refer please click on the link below to download the form, complete and return it to the service. The information in your referral will be used to make you an appointment in the most appropriate clinic.

Self-referral form

Returning your self-referral form: 


By POST: Sandwell and West Birmingham Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service, Sandwell Hospital, Primary Care Buildings, Lewisham Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4HJ.

If you have any queries please contact our central booking service on 0121 507 2664 (press option 3 first followed by 1).

For more information about disabled access for this service, please click here.


The multidisciplinary team comprised of a wide range of professionals including physiotherapists, podiatrists, nurses, consultants, occupational therapists and healthcare assistants.

Services are delivered at:

  • Sandwell General Hospital
  • City Hospital
  • Rowley Regis Hospital
  • Victoria Health Centre
  • Neptune Health Park
  • Glebefields Health Centre
  • Lyng Centre for Health and Social care
  • Portway leisure Centre
  • Sandwell General Hospital Physiotherapy Gym
  • City Hospital Physiotherapy Gym

We work closely with other departments across the Trust including Trauma and Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Hand/Plastic Surgery, Pain Management, Foot Health and Sandwell Community Rehabilitation Services.


Many Musculoskeletal problems are long-term conditions. We aim to maximize a patient’s ability to function independently by providing support with education, treatment and advice and pain management strategies.

For each patient we carry out a face-to-face assessment that includes a consultation and examination.

The nature of a musculoskeletal examination, involves observation of the body movement, touch and therapeutic handling. Please come appropriately dressed and let the therapist know if you prefer not to expose the affected body area.

The physiotherapist will aim to assess any pain and certain procedures may produce some discomfort.

There is an opportunity on the referral form to request a clinician of the same gender.

The physiotherapist will ask about your problems, listen to your concerns and together agree goals so that treatment can be planned to meet your individual needs. In most cases you will receive advice about what you can do at home to help manage the condition.

Physiotherapy may involve:

  • Patient information in a variety of formats
  • Patient advice – group and individual sessions
  • Pain management advice and programmes
  • Home exercise programmes
  • Pelvic exercises for patients with continence problems
  • Gym-based exercise classes
  • 1:1 gym sessions
  • Manual therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Injection therapy
  • Electrotherapy including ultrasound treatment
  • Splinting

Patient Stories

“I would like to thank you for your help and support of me for my shoulder, which I came in for last year. I really appreciate your time and effort that’s been put in to help me get stronger, and my shoulder become more stable.”


“Thank you for all your help and attention during my recent acupuncture treatment. It was really good to be able to talk to someone who understood the problem, and I thank you all for your care and attention.”


“I had my appointment at City Hospital and saw the consultant, who explained everything. After examining my foot, and before I could even ask, his immediate reaction was that surgery was the last resort and this was not the right time. His criteria was that if I could get out of bed, get downstairs and walk 50 yards, then no immediate action was required. The thing that made me chuckle was that in his letter to my GP he states that I can walk more than a mile without any problem. However, it gives me a challenge for the future, as I have got four months before my next appointment.  He did agree that orthotics may be able to help with insoles or other treatment and I have now received an appointment for this.”


“I would like to put on record how kind and helpful the physiotherapist has been to me over a period of several months. She gave me exercises and also six sessions of acupuncture, which was very helpful.”


“My last appointment with you for treatment was at Rowley Regis Hospital. I still have pains in my legs, due to a problematic spine, but this does not take away the joy I have in that I am able to sleep (a by-product of the treatment by acupuncture). Your kindness shone through in the work you do and the treatment you give. I was privileged to have met you.”


“You may remember back in February, when I was attending your clinic with a torn biceps tendon. I was referred to a surgeon, who accepted me for surgery, so now I am making good progress with my recovery and my weightlifting. I would like you to know that, in honour of all involved, I have paid for two children in the Third World to have surgery with the Smile charity.”


“A big thank you, firstly to the spinal programme who got me walking again without crutches, giving me a better quality of life. Thank you all. For the last seven weeks of treatment I have had treatment for spinal stenosis, hard work with exercise, which is made easier by people in classes: friendly, helpful and smiles. I am now able to do things in retirement. I like walking and helping others, family, friends etc., none of which I could have achieved without the help of the physio team. You don’t need a referral, just go and be pleasantly surprised with this wonderful experience in getting a good life in old age. Thank you.”


“An excellent service. The physiotherapy I have received has been extremely helpful, and has really helped with my pain.”


“I really cannot thank you enough for all your help over the last few weeks, especially for coming in on a Saturday and strapping my legs up. I did my run yesterday in two hours 50 minutes; I was hoping for less than four hours and I did it in less than three! I never felt my shins one bit, and to think that the hospital had said do not run on it for two to three weeks, and I could not run on it even ten days ago. I will never forget the support and what you did for me.”


“Following a hip operation, I was referred to the Physiotherapy Department at Sandwell Hospital. I have recently completed the treatment there. I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the excellent, professional but friendly help that has proved to be most effective in my recovery. In addition to the high standard of medical care that they gave, I was impressed by the fact that my treatment appointments were always on time.”


“I just want to say how brilliant the self-referral system in Sandwell is. This must save the Trust so much money in saving GP appointments and treating problems before they become more serious. Well done!”


“I wanted to take this opportunity of thanking you very much for your help and professional support over the last few months. As you know, at one point I didn’t think that my back would improve and feared that my good quality of life would be gone for ever. You helped me through that anxious time, both physically and mentally, and I am now pleased to say that I am doing OK, with just the odd day when I know to be careful. The service you provided was as good as anyone would have received privately, a real positive for the NHS!”


“I saw your patient today in my clinic. In March 2013 he had second stage reconstruction of the FDPs to his right middle, ring and little fingers. A most satisfactory result has been received. He has got adequate range of movement in his ring and middle fingers. His little finger movement has improved since I last saw him. He has benefited from the excellent hand therapy he has had.”

Consultant plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon


“I am writing to inform you about a patient who was received in clinic today. He had full range of movement in all fingers. He is back to work with no fundamental deficit and is really pleased with the outcome of his procedures. I have explained to him the importance of occupational therapy under your care, which has helped him reach this outcome. Both the patient and I are grateful for the great work you have done to achieve this outcome with him.”

Plastic surgery consultant


Please feel free to share your experiences of this service. Please e-mail your views to

Patient Information

For more information about hydrotherapy click the following link: Hydrotherapy patient information.

For more information about our Physiotherapy gym click the following link: Gym booklet.

Exercise advice from the Chartered society of physiotherapist (CSP) can be seen here:

For back pain advice see the link:

Information about acupuncture can be accessed via the following website:


Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy:
Appointment booking line – 0121 507 2664 (option 3-1)
Paper referrals by post:
Sandwell and West Birmingham Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service,
Sandwell Hospital,
Primary Care Buildings,
Lewisham Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4HJ
E-mail –

Community Orthopaedic Service
Electronic referrals – Choose and Book
Appointment line 0121 507 2664 (option 3-2)
E-mail –

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