Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

Adult physiotherapy - Community Integrated Musculoskeletal Service (CIMS)

This new single point of access (SPA) for musculoskeletal conditions creates a quicker and more efficient patient journey to benefit both patients and GPs.

The new integrated, streamlined service replaces the previous musculoskeletal physiotherapy, hand therapy, rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (MCATS) services.  You can find out more information about the service below including 

How to refer and list of Consultants

Service overview

The Community Integrated Musculoskeletal Service (CIMS) delivers comprehensive assessment and treatment plans across a range of services. This integrated, streamlined service includes physiotherapy, hand therapy and MCATS services.


The service offers:

  • A single point of access (SPA) for all musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Initial electronic triage via eRS of all adult musculoskeletal referrals and based on the clinical information provided, signposting to the appropriate service (eg, community services including physiotherapy, hand therapy, podiatry and MCATS and secondary care services including Rheumatology and Orthopaedics).
  • A focus on self-management and prevention.
  • GP practices to be allocated a named physiotherapist to offer education and clinical advice.


The CIMS team manage and care for patients until the point of discharge, arrange all physiotherapy, education groups, rehabilitation classes, imaging and consultant management.


CIMS accepts referrals for the following:

The service has hub sites at Croydon University Hospital and Purley War Memorial Hospital, but also offers appointments at six community locations across the borough.


We treat

All benign adult musculoskeletal conditions. Click service page for more details on each specific service and specialty.


Referral criteria

The service is suitable for:

  • Urgent cases who cannot work, sleep or manage daily function due to musculoskeletal condition
  • Further support needed for patients that tried GP or self-management strategies without success


  • suspected cancer
  • known red flags
  • suspected or known fracture
  • inflammatory arthritis, lupus or vasculitis
  • lumps and bumps,
  • under 17 years
  • referrals for injection only treatments


How to refer

CIMS are pleased to offer two services live on e-Referral system (eRS) Croydon Physiotherapy triage and Croydon MCATS intermediary care. Both services can be found  by selecting  the specialty 'Physiotherapy' and clinic type ‘Muscular skeletal'. CIMS will continue to manage the same referrals as they did before, including Orthopaedics, Rheumatology,  MCATS  and Physiotherapy. Please do NOT give the patient details of the appointment that you book   THIS IS NOT AN APPOINTMENT for the patient it is an appointment for assessment / triage. 

The CIMS clinicians will triage the referral and arrange the most appropriate appointment for the patient. Appointments requiring secondary care will be forwarded to the Trauma & Orthopaedics service at CHS. Please check your eRS work lists daily requests for additional information will be returned to the GP practice via eRS. If you have and questions, please use the email addresses

Please note:

  • Patients referred to T&O via CIMS will be referred on to the T&O consultants here at CHS only.
  • GPs requesting T&O appointments should ensure that patients meet the criteria i.e., ECI guidelines where appropriate, ensure primary care management including physiotherapy has been tried.
  • For all clinical and appointment queries, please email us at

All red flags, fractures and Inflammatory arthritis /lupus or vasculitis, referrals to follow the appropriate established pathways (not via CIMS).



Contact information


Leander Road Primary Care Centre

949 London Road



Email - 

Tel: CIMS Advice Hub 0208 274 6828 / 6847  

Tel: Advice & Guidance 0208 274 6828

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