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Orthopaedic Interface Service

The Orthopaedic Interface Service (OIS) is an orthopaedic service based in primary care, for patients in the Bath & North East Somerset area. The service provides specialist assessment, diagnosis and management of orthopaedic problems. Where appropriate this can include requesting imaging investigations (x-ray, MRI and ultrasound), administering steroid injections and referring people to consultants in secondary care. The specially trained team includes specialist orthopaedic physiotherapists and podiatrists. Joint clinics are held with the orthopaedic consultants from the Royal United Hospital, Bath.

The clinics are held at Paulton Memorial Hospital, Paulton; St Martins Hospital, Odd Down, Bath and Keynsham Health Centre. The administration team are based at Paulton Memorial Hospital.

The service aims to:

  • Provide timely access to expert orthopaedic assessment
  • Wherever possible provide a service closer to home
  • Give a clear explanation of the problem and discuss possible treatment options
  • Help promote self-management and independence

Research has found that assessments by telephone or video are very often as good as face to face assessments, and the clinical decisions about treatment options are not changed.

Face to face appointments will be arranged when clinically needed and personal protective equipment will be used by clinicians and service users.

Face to face appointment information

What time should I arrive?

Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time and wait in your car until you receive a text or a called by a clinician. If you do not have transport to wait in outside please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. Clinicians all aim to run their clinics on time although, on occasion, they may run late due to unforeseen events.

Please bring an appropriate face covering to the appointment.

What happens during my appointment?

During your appointment, the clinician will take a history of the problem and then examine you physically. For this examination, you may be required to undress to some degree depending upon your problem, for example, removal of a top for a shoulder problem. Please consider this and wear appropriate loose clothing so that you are comfortable and able to move freely during the examination.

Please bring a list of medication you are currently taking.

Bringing someone with you

Covid-19 information – please attend the appointment on your own if possible. If it is essential that you bring one person, then this will be permitted. You may ask for a chaperone once you arrive. Sometimes our staff may also request to have someone present for an appointment. Please contact us if an interpreter is required.

How long will my appointment take?

Each appointment is dependent on your needs so appointment times will vary. However, first appointments normally take between 30-45 minutes and follow-up appointments normally last between 15–30 minutes. We do try to make follow-ups by telephone where possible.

How do I cancel or change my appointment?

If you cannot make the appointment, please contact us as soon as you can – 01761 408106 This will enable us to use the time to arrange an appointment for someone else.
If you do not attend and we do not have any contact from you within 14 days of the appointment then you may be discharged from the service.

Other Information

What process occurs once I’m referred to the service?

Once you have been referred you to our service, the triage team will decide on the most appropriate specialist for your condition.

If you have given permission, you will receive a text informing you of an approximate waiting time for your appointment.

Once we offer you an appointment, you will receive a letter confirming the date, time and location of your appointment. We will tell you the name of the healthcare professional you will see, and any preparations that you need to make before your appointment.

How soon will I be seen?

For a routine appointment, you should expect to be seen within 8-10 weeks of your referral.

How will I get the results of any assessments carried out on the day?

You will be fully involved in your assessment and treatment, so please feel free to ask any questions or seek clarification if you do not fully understand anything.

Treatment plans will be developed in collaboration with your clinician. These plans will include an explanation of your condition, advice regarding the condition, and strategies that are most likely to improve or manage it. You will be given clear instructions of any exercises that you will need to do. You may be given an exercise booklet.

When will I hear regarding my diagnostic test results?

Once you have had your diagnostic test performed, a radiologist will prepare your written report. This process may take up to two weeks from your diagnostic test appointment.

One of our clinicians will review your results once we receive them. You will then be contacted by the HCRG Care Group admin team for either a telephone follow up, or sent an appointment date and time.

If you do not hear from us after eight weeks from your appointment, please contact the relevant administration team. Details are at the top of this page.

Who will treat me?

Our team is dedicated to providing everyone with the best care we can. They are highly skilled and experienced staff who have an interest in joint, nerve and muscle problems and include musculoskeletal and orthopaedic specialists.

Every member of our team has to provide evidence of their registration, training and criminal record status before they can work with you.