Orthopaedic Assessment

If you have an orthopaedic condition which requires a specialist opinion you will be referred to the Orthopaedic Assessment Service. This service has been running in Somerset since 2000. It is a collaborative service with GPs, physiotherapists, podiatrists and orthopaedic consultants working together to provide excellent quality of care in your local community.

Who we are

The team consists of clinicians from a range of professional backgrounds such as physiotherapists, GPs and podiatrists. These clinicians are supported by administration staff and a service manager.

All the clinicians are experts in musculoskeletal (orthopaedic) medicine and have worked with, and undergone training by, orthopaedic surgeons. Our clinicians have sub-specialised in line with the orthopaedic consultants in spinal, upper limb and lower limb conditions.

What we do

The service offers a specialist orthopaedic opinion to adults (over 16 years for non spinal problems and over 18 years for spinal problems) who are suffering from joint, muscle or soft tissue problems.

Common conditions that are seen in the service include:

  • Spinal pain
  • Nerve root pain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Arthritis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Bunions
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament and cartilage problems
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  • Trigger finger

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

How we work

When you attend a clinic you will be assessed by one of our clinicians who will explain your diagnosis and work with you to decide the most appropriate treatment options.

If you would like a chaperone to be present at any time, please ask the reception staff or your clinician.

The appointment will take approximately 30 minutes. However, if you need to have additional tests, for example, an x-ray or a blood sample taken during this visit, this will extend the time you spend at the clinic.

If other investigations are necessary they will be requested and an appointment made to see you when the results are available to be discussed.

Treatment options will be discussed, including injection therapy or surgical treatment, if appropriate.

If it is felt that your condition will be helped by an injection this may be performed at the appointment.

You will also be given advice and information regarding how to manage your condition.

If it is decided that surgical opinion is appropriate you will be offered a choice of where you would want this to take place.

How you can you access these services

Referrals to the service are usually made by your GP or physiotherapist.

Waiting time

We aim to offer an appointment within 4-6 weeks of receiving your referral. Sometimes appointments can take a little longer during busy times. Please phone us if you would like to know the current waiting times.

If you need an x-ray this can be done at the same time as your appointment.

If you need an MRI scan this can generally be performed within 2-4 weeks. We will then arrange to see you and discuss your MRI scan results within 4-6 weeks of the scan being performed. This may depend on where you choose to have your scan.

Where you can access these services

The specialist clinics are held at a variety of community hospitals in Somerset. Patients can choose the locality that they would like to attend which may depend on where they live and work, but also the condition they present with as certain specialty clinics are only held at specific locations.

  • Bridgwater Community Hospital
  • Chard Community Hospital (spinal only)
  • Dene Barton Community Hospital (not spinal)
  • Frome Community Hospital
  • Minehead Community Hospital
  • Taunton, 48 Parkfield Drive, TA1 5BU
  • Shepton Mallet Community Hospital (spinal only)
  • Wellington Community Hospital (spinal only)
  • West Mendip Community Hospital (not spinal)

Clinics are held Monday to Friday 09.00 - 16.30. Not all venues or specialties have clinics every day.

If you are not able to attend your appointment

There is a very high demand for appointments within the Orthopaedic Assessment Service. If you are not able to attend your appointment, please contact us on the number below so we can offer this appointment to another patient.

If you do not attend your appointment without informing us you will be discharged back to your GP. Another referral will be required before another appointment can be given.

Late arrivals

If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your appointment you may not be seen, but will be offered an appointment at a new date and time.


Orthopaedic Assessment Service
Ground Floor, Mallard Court
Express Park
Bristol Road

Tel: 01278 432020  (booking office hours 8.30-4.30 Monday to Friday)  
Fax: 01278 432021

You can download leaflets for each of the clinic locations below: