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Patients may be referred to a physiotherapist via their own doctor, by their spinal consultant or by another health professional.


Physiotherapy in the Spinal Outpatient Clinic

Physiotherapists work closely with the doctors and nurses within the spinal outpatient clinic at QMC.  Senior physiotherapists with specialist training in managing back and neck pain are on hand within the clinic to see patients referred direct from a doctor or nurse. The physiotherapist assesses the patient, gives advice, and arranges follow-up physiotherapy in a physiotherapy clinic convenient for the patient.  This may be at Queens Medical Centre or Nottingham City Hospital, but can also be at an NHS physiotherapy clinic closer to their home, either within the Nottingham area or further afield. If appropriate, patients can also be referred on to the Nottingham Pain Team who offer a range of group programmes across Nottingham, including intensive education, advice and problem solving on how to manage pain in the long-term. 


Physiotherapist Extended Scope Practitioners

NUH also has four Spinal Extended Scope Physiotherapists (ESPs) working within the QMC spinal clinic. ESPs see selected patients on behalf of the spinal consultants.  These ESPs have extensive experience treating spinal patients.  They have received advanced training in assessing spinal conditions and deciding how they should be managed.  They work closely with spinal consultants in deciding the appropriate treatment for individual patients.  This may be physiotherapy, or referral to the Nottingham Back and Pain Team, or it may be referral for further tests e.g. MRI, for injection or for surgery.These ESPs also train the senior physiotherapy staff who work in the spinal clinic, and who treat spinal patients in the QMC and Nottingham City Hospital physiotherapy departments, to ensure that all NUH physiotherapists are familiar with the latest research and treatment approaches, and provide the highest standard of treatment for spinal patients.

Eleanor Dunstan, Physiotherapist Extended Scope Practitioner, Spinal Clinic -


Physiotherapy via a GP

Physiotherapy is often one of the first avenues of treatment for people with back or neck pain.  Alongside appropriate painkillers, and advice to keep gently active, this is often successful in settling a back or neck problem, so that there is no need for referral on to a Spinal Consultant.  GPs will therefore usually refer patients to physiotherapy before they refer them on to the Spinal Unit.  Some GPs will encourage patients to refer themselves through the self-referral system running in some parts of Nottingham.There are physiotherapy clinics across Nottingham.  Some are run by the City and County Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and are held within GP practices or health centres.  There are also large physiotherapy departments within QMC and Nottingham City Hospital.  Patients are offered the choice of where they would like to be treated.


Out-patient Physiotherapy Contacts:

Louise Neale - Team Leader for Spinal Physiotherapy Outpatients -

Rhianan Hutchings - Spinal Physiotherapist Outpatients  - 


Last updated: April 2017