Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

I'm attending a Musculoskeletal Outpatient Physiotherapy appointment

All our services are delivered in line with the health board vision shaping our future wellbeing and our health board values.

Physiotherapy department
You will be seen in the department by one of our MSK specialists. They will be able to offer the full range of assessment processes. You will need to take the time out of your day to travel there and back.

By working with your health professionals to decide on the best course of action around consultations and support, you will

  • make more informed decisions about your health
  • feel more in control of your care and
  • have a more satisfying and effective experience of treatment.

Our recommendation, based on the ‘Ask 3 questions’ campaign developed by The Health Foundation, is for patients is to always ‘Ask 3 questions’ when discussing their treatment. 

These three questions are:3 questions

  • What are my options?
  • What are the possible benefits and risks of those options?
  • What help do I need to make my decision?

Often, you will find there are choices to make about your healthcare. For example, you may need to:

  • decide whether or not you want to have treatment
  • choose between different types of treatment
  • plan to change your lifestyle to improve your health

What you choose to do should depend on what is important to you.

If you are asked to make a choice, you may have further questions that you want to ask. Talking over your options with your family or friends, and writing a list of the questions to take to your appointment may help.

During your consultation

The consultation

At the initial consultation we aim to allocate enough time to enable us to complete all of the following steps. Sometime it is not possible to complete all the steps and we don’t want to rush this most important part of your care. So when there is a lot to cover, or you need time to consider your options and make decisions, we will arrange a second consultation to complete the process. We offer a holistic assessment which takes into account your individual needs and preferences.

On arrival you may be asked to complete a short questionnaire. This is a really important part of the consultation and helps us to get you where you need to be.

Each consultation will include


This starts with a conversation. By telling us your story, the history that has led you to us and the things that you are seeking help for, we can understand how we can best help you. This will include your description of the problem and your experience. Often we also need to consider other things that might be connected, such as other health problems, social or lifestyle factors and how the treatments that we can offer might fit into your life.

Physical examination

If you consent, we will perform a personalised physical examination that enables us to test the biological health of your muscles, joints and nerves.

Summary and diagnosis

We will provide you with a summary of your story, your thoughts, our findings, and together come to an agreement about what is going on (diagnosis) and why

Tests when required

If it’s appropriate to get further tests such as X rays, scans or blood tests we will discuss that with you and arrange those that are agreed.

Information, options and a shared decision

We will provide you with information about the treatments options that are available for you and work with you to share a decision about how you wish to move forwards.

Read more about your role in decision making on The Patients Association website. 

Individualised plan 

We will agree with you the individualised self-management strategies that you wish to start and will do our best to help you if you wish to make positive behavioural changes.

Onward referral 

Should our shared decision require a referral to another service or medical speciality, such as podiatry, orthotics, Rheumatology or Orthopaedic surgery, will arrange that for you.

You will be called at the arranged time by one of our MSK specialists. They will be able to have a good conversation, however it is not possible to accurately examine you on the phone. You will only need to take the time of the phone call out of your day and will not need to travel.

If you are unable to attend one of our departments for a face-to-face appointment, it is possible to carry out a virtual appointment. You can request this with the administration staff when you book your appointment. At the booked appointment time a clinician will initially phone the number you have provided and talk you through how to continue with a private virtual consultation.

Once on the video call, the clinician will be able to have a good conversation with you and examine the basics, but a full physical examination cannot be performed. The clinician may be able to give you some advice and exercises to work on before arranging to see you again if required. It may be necessary for the clinician to request you come in to see them face to face in one of the departments.

After your consultation

We will agree with you any follow up or ongoing treatment plan and arrange appointments appropriately.

We will provide you with resources to enable you to implement your rehabilitation or management plan.

Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

Help us improve Keeping Me Well!

We’re currently working to improve the Keeping Me Well website. If you’d like to help us make this site a better, more helpful experience for you, please take a few minutes to let us know what improvements you’d like to see.

Skip to content