Spinal Assessment and Treatment Service

What is the Spinal Assessment and Treatment Service?


Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides an integrated spinal service run by a multidisciplinary team for Gloucestershire.  This is designed as a comprehensive service combining our team of experts including Consultant Spinal Surgeons, Advanced Practice Physiotherapists (as part of the GHT Musculoskeletal Advanced Practitioner Service), Consultants in Pain Medicine and Pain Team, Consultant Radiologists.


We offer a comprehensive specialist spinal service for patients and GP’s including:  

  • Complex case diagnosis and management
  • Comprehensive investigations and interpretation
  • Surgical interventions and treatment
  • Non-surgical interventions for Pain e.g. injections, nerve blocks
  • Medical Management of Pain e.g. Analgesic guidance
  • Pain Management with Clinical Psychology and comprehensive Pain Self-Management Programmes
  • Advanced Practice Physiotherapy
  • Access to specialist advice and information about the risks and benefits on a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments




How does this service offer Quality and Value to our patients?

  • Office triage ensures appropriate clinical allocation to timely clinics
  • Early access to an Advanced Practitioner: 2 weeks for urgent and 4 weeks for routine
  • Our patient sees the right person in the right place at the right time
  • An excellent patient experience with joined up, seamless, effective care
  • Patients are supported to make shared decisions about choices and options for treatment
  • There are regular multi-disciplinary team meetings to discuss complex cases
  • Strong Clinical Governance for patient safety
  • Brings specialist services closer to home


Introducing the Team


Spinal Assessment & Treatment Service
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital  
Great Western Road 



Telephone: 0300 422 8127

Fax: 0300 422 8587


Please direct service enquiries and feedback to:

S. Durrell - Consultant Physiotherapist


Lead Administrator

Patsy Capon-West


Operational Leads:

Jill Ham Advanced Practitioner



Susie Durrell Consultant Physiotherapist



General Manager Trauma & Orthopaedics - Debbie de Wit -



 How is the Spinal Assessment and Treatment Service accessed?

GP referral process

 If the GP and patient’s choice is referral to the Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust Spinal Assessment and Treatment Service at consultation:-

  • Your GP generates a referral letter. N.B. NO appointment can be booked or offered to the patient at this stage.
  •  The NHS e-Referrals system is entered as normal through “Spinal/Back” route. Available clinic choices can be filtered by the distance in miles (greater miles will capture more choices).
  • Scroll down past a number of ‘restricted’ services because there is only ONE entry point for ALL referrals  -  “Spinal Assessment and Treatment Service”. 
  • Choose the single entry point “Spinal Assessment and Treatment Service”.
  • A ‘dummy’ or ‘false’ patient appointment is generated (confirming entry into the service).
  • Accept / book the ‘dummy appointment’ and attach the referral letter and any additional required patient information. 
  • This completes the referral from the GP practice.

How is the referral processed within the Service?

  • Clinical staff read and review all new referral letters received each working day, supported by the multi-disciplinary team (including Consultant Spinal surgeons and Consultants in Pain Medicine).
  • The patient is allocated to the most appropriate clinic choices for the individual e.g. 
    • Early access to a Musculoskeletal Advanced Practitioner Service clinic 2 weeks for urgent and 4 weeks for routine referral  
    • Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon  clinic
    • Consultant in Pain Medicine clinic.
    • Other e.g.  redirect to Physiotherapy 
  • If we do not think this is the most appropriate service for the patient we will advise the GP
  • If however, a particular clinician is required for a specific reason (as stated by your GP referral letter) we will endeavour to comply.
  • Our administrators input the appropriate clinical decision into the NHS e-Referrals system.
  • Letters are generated and sent to you, the patient, enabling you to book your appointment including a list of suitable clinic choices and locations; a system password; and an explanatory letter about the service.
  • You, the patient, can book your own appointment by accessing the system to choose the date, time and location of your clinic appointment.
  • Once you, the patient, book your appointment, our administrators send appropriate confirmation information to you.

Useful Patient Information


Health information Managing persistent pain

Spinal Surgery information

supporting shared decision making

 NHS Choices


Arthritis Research UK

The Back Book

Let's Talk service for Mental Health

Pain Toolkit

Pain Concern


British Association of Spine Surgeons 


 MRI scans

Option grid - Sciatica

Option grid- Spinal Stenosis

NHS Shared Decision Making