PatientsInformation for GP's


Covid 19 We have temporarily closed for face to face appointments as we are unable to maintain safe social distancing measures. All our appointments are now taking place through video consultations. During this difficult time for the NHS only urgent AQP referrals are being made. We are very happy to conduct these appointments online.

You can find out more from our leaflet by Clicking here.

Musculoskeletal Service for Back and Neck Pain

This service is delivered by Cathedral Chiropractic on behalf of the NHS in Cornwall. This service is paid for by the NHS and free at the point of contact.

How do I make an appointment?

If your doctor feels you should have treatment for your condition, and if you choose to see us, then your doctor will help by arranging a referral.

If we receive your referral by letter, fax or email we will attempt to contact you by phone to make an appointment. We will attempt to contact you by phone several times if you do not answer or return our call we will return the AQP to your GP 6 weeks after we receive it.

If you have not heard from us within 4 days of being referred please call our NHS administrator on 01872 262988.

Your Doctor may give you the paperwork in which case you will need to call us directly to book your appointment. Please remember to bring the paperwork with you as without it we will be unable to see you as an NHS patient.

Our services

Short waiting times – typically within 2 days.

High satisfaction levels – more than 99% of patients being happy with their care*

Treatment aimed to restore normal back and neck function. This can help reduce pain and lessen the chances of future spinal problems.

Support for individuals to understand their condition, and the things they may do to help themselves.

Appointments are available early in the morning, evening and weekends.

*Patient survey (2014).

Is the treatment right for me?

Our service may be helpful to you if you have back pain (with or without ‘sciatica’), neck pain or neck related headaches.

If your doctor feels you would be helped by a referral for treatment, then through the NHS you have a choice of which provider you see for care. You should discuss with your doctor your coming to Cathedral Chiropractic if your symptoms are from:

  • ‘Mechanical’ back or neck problems
  • Stiffness and restricted movement
  • Cervicogenic headaches
  • ‘Wear and tear’ pain
  • Postural related neck and back pain

What should I expect when I come?

We will listen to your description of your problem and the effect it is having on you.

We will provide you with a thorough examination.

We will explain what we find, helping you to understand your problem.

We will discuss things you can do to speed recovery and cope with your problem.

We will discuss treatment with you. This may include safe, effective and comfortable options including manipulation, western medical dry needling and exercises.

We will go over steps you may take to prevent the pain from returning.

Information for GP’s

You can find out more from our leaflet by Clicking here.

How can I refer a patient?

Referrals may be made via

Fax to:  01872 279296

by post using a AQP MSK referral form.

Cathedral Chiropractic

Unit 2 Bridge House

St Clements Street



And also email: [email protected]

AQP referral form download

Eligibility criteria:

A patient is eligible for referral to the MSK Back and Neck Pain service if they present with primarily back or neck pain with or without ‘referred’ symptoms to the limbs including:

Whiplash associated disorders

Stiffness and restricted movement

Cervicogenic headaches

‘Mechanical’ neck and back pain

Degenerative pain

Postural related neck and back pain.


Patients who meet any the following conditions are not appropriate for referral and therefore not covered in this service:

Suspicions of serious pathology

Patients under 16 years of age

Patients who are not registered with a GP in locality.

Patients with widespread or non-musculoskeletal pain.

Patients who have a primary peripheral limb problem with secondary back and neck pain (e.g. hip or shoulder problems).

Women who are over 35 weeks pregnant.

What will patients experience

Upon receipt of a referral we will contact the patient by phone to make an initial appointment. It is anticipated that they will be offered appointments within a few days. Our clinic is open 8am – 7pm weekdays and 9am -1pm Saturdays.

Patients will be asked to complete a questionnaire. This questionnaire contains the Bournemouth Questionnaire (BQ) and background medical history questions.

At the first visit patients will have the opportunity to explain their problem and what it means to them. They will have a comprehensive MSK examination. They will be provided with an explanation of their symptoms and where appropriate, treatment will start at this first session.

The service Cathedral Chiropractic provides places strong emphasis upon patients taking responsibility for their symptoms, and their playing an active role in the treatment.

Those making good improvement and satisfied with their progress will be discharged.

Other patients will be given a written care plan and offered a course of treatment sessions. Our experience suggests most will need on average a further 4 sessions, although up to 9 are permissible in this pathway. Where mild or moderate modifiable psychological barriers (yellow flags) are identified these will be managed by our practitioners alongside physical barriers. If severe non-physical factors are found to be dominating a presentation then referral to, or co-management alongside psychological services will be sought.

At the end of a course of care patients will complete an outcome assessment questionnaire. Those making good improvement and satisfied with their progress will be discharged. Where appropriate others will be offered further treatment possibly with different care.

At discharge patients will receive written advice on preventing reoccurrence and a report will be sent to their referrer & GP.

What are the differences between Chiropractors and Osteopaths?

It is not possible to define a clear difference between Chiropractic and Osteopathy. Broadly Chiropractors focus more on the area of presenting symptoms whist Osteopaths are more likely to include treatment of other parts of the body. Each practitioner has his or her own style of delivering treatment and this individual variation is more distinctive than any difference between the professions. Variation in style reflects the practitioner’s education, training background and experience.

Research has not identified differences in outcomes between care provided by Chiropractors or Osteopaths. The types of care provided by both professions at Cathedral Chiropractic have been found to provide significant and cost efficient benefits over best practice GP care and are in line with NICE guidelines3&4. A Medical Research Council funded RCT reporting in the BMJ concluded that Chiropractic almost certainly confers worthwhile, long term benefit in comparison with hospital outpatient management5.

To discuss this service further or for any queries please contact Mike Barber on 01872 262988


1 UK Royal College of Chiropractors PPQM & CMQM.

2 Hill JC, Whitehurst DG, Lewis M, Bryan S, Dunn KM, Foster NE, et al: Comparison of stratified primary care management for low back pain with current best practice (STarT Back): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2011, 378(9602):1560–1571.

3 UK BEAM Trial Team 2004, ‘United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: cost effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care’, BMJ (Clinical research ed), vol. 329, no. 7479, p. 1381.

4 NICE, Savigny, P, Watson, P, Underwood, MR & Guideline Development Group 2009, ‘Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain: summary of NICE guidance’, BMJ (Clinical research ed), vol. 338, p. b1805.

The Lancet – Lower back pain, a call for action

Pubmed – Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache

Book an appointment online

For All Enquiries

Call: 01872 262988