Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

MCATS - Referral Guidelines


MCATS was set up to streamline the pathway and simplify access for those using Musculoskeletal services.  MCATS triages referrals to our specialist orthopaedic practitioner clinics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Hand Therapy. We also direct referrals to secondary care if appropriate.

Referrals known to require physiotherapy only should be sent via MCATS with the box indicating ‘physiotherapy only’ clearly marked on the referral form.


Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service

The physiotherapy service provides assessment and treatment for patients with a broad range of benign musculoskeletal conditions, for example:

  • Post fracture/dislocation
  • Pregnant and post-natal MSK conditions
  • Conditions persisting over 6 weeks, despite appropriate primary care management
  • Recurrent and long-term problems, including OA, shoulder impingement, anterior knee pain, spinal pain with or without referred symptoms
  • Soft tissue lesions, including epicondylitis / tendinopathies / strains and sprains

Patients are prioritised according to clinical need (from the information provided on the MCATS referral form).  Treatment is aimed at return to function and guiding patients towards long-term self-management.  Patients with common long-term conditions are often managed in a group setting.


We will not accept:

  • Repeat referrals for the same condition within a year, unless there  has been a significant change in condition

  • Patients who have a poor attendance record

Please follow the RCGP guidelines on appropriate primary care management prior to referring your patient.  Please maximise the use of ARC (Arthritis Research Campaign ) booklets, patient information leaflets and exercise sheets (available on the right of this page), local community exercise schemes e.g. exercise on prescription and Get up and Go.


The physiotherapy service runs clinics throughout the borough at various locations and can be contacted at:

Leander Road Primary Care Centre
949 London Road
Thornton Heath
Tel: 020 8274 6828.

In cases where physiotherapy treatment is not successful or the patient’s condition has changed, the patient is referred directly to the MCATS orthopaedic practitioners for specialist assessment.


MCATS Orthopaedic Practitioner led Clinics

  • Musculoskeletal Clinic
  • Shoulder Clinic
  • Back Clinic

These specialist clinics provide assessment and management for:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders where diagnosis is uncertain, but serious pathology is not suspected
  • Musculoskeletal conditions that have failed primary care management or who need a specialist opinion and/or investigation
  • Patients with acute problems that have failed to resolve with appropriate primary care management
  • Patients with mechanical pain when you are unclear of the diagnosis or ideal referral pathway

All patients accepted into the service receive an individual assessment. Treatment options are discussed with the patients and any appropriate investigations ordered.  Onward referral to other services including secondary care will be arranged.


Intra / Peri-articular Corticosteroid Injections

If you are sure that injection is indicated for your patient please refer to the Minor Surgeries Unit.  Click here for the choice of locations

If you are unsure whether injection is indicated please refer to MCATS.  The MCATS practitioners also use corticosteroid injections where appropriate as part of their overall patient management.



For referrals through CReSS please use Choose and Book.

For practices not yet using CReSS, preferably use Choose and Book or fax the referral form which can be found on the right hand side of this page between the hours of 9.00a.m. to 5.00p.m. to 020 8401 3349.

This service is not directly bookable through the “Choose & Book” system.  

MCATS operates a Monday-Friday service and clinics run throughout the borough at various locations.


Contact Details

MCATS Hub (for bookings and administrative queries

Tel: 020 8401 3001 Fax: 020 8401 3349

MCATS office (to speak to a clinician)

Tel: 020 8401 4266 or e-mail


Tel: 0300 303 8145


For further information and clinical enquiries, please contact

Suzy Peerman, Consultant Physiotherapist on 020 8274 6816 or email

Beverley Jerome, Orthopaedic Practitioner on  020 8401 3000 extension 4266/4486 or email


Please remember to use the one MCATS referral form for all MCATS and physiotherapy referrals and send them all via MCATS.

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