The MSK team

Clinical specialists and extended scope physiotherapists

Our department has experts in spinal, knee, shoulder, hip and foot problems. We also have extended scope physiotherapists (ESPs), who have undergone further training to enable them to extend their practice. The Royal Free uses these ESPs throughout the trust. They work closely with orthopaedic, neurosurgery, rheumatology and A&E consultants in their clinics as well as leading the out-patient physiotherapy team. They all have masters degrees in neuro-musculoskeletal physiotherapy.  Some of the ESP's run injection clinics alongs side the orthopaedic and rheumatology consultants.

Senior physiotherapists

Our senior physiotherapists are advanced musculoskeletal clinicians. They run the department on a day-to-day basis, and manage the hydrotherapy and back fitness service. They have all worked for at least five years in the field, and have either achieved or are working towards their masters degrees in neuro-musculoskeletal physiotherapy, or equivalent qualifications.

General (rotational) physiotherapists

Our general therapists are skilled in the musculoskeletal field. They move between different musculoskeletal specialties (such as out-patients, orthopaedics and women’s health) every four or six months.

All these general physiotherapists have undertaken post-graduate training and are chartered physiotherapists. 

Physiotherapy assistants

Our physiotherapy assistants are vital for the smooth running of our department. They are directly involved in the hydrotherapy service, and can offer immediate advice and education to patients (for example, after someone has had a plaster cast removed). They can also help patients with their walking aids.


The Royal Free Hospital is a teaching hospital and we support the education of physiotherapy students. You may be treated by a student; but they are always closely supervised by a qualified physiotherapist. If you have any questions about this, please ask a senior member of staff. If you prefer not to be seen by a student please tell the physiotherapist.

Administrative team

The physiotherapy team includes a service delivery manager, a team leader and four administrators. We provide reception services 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, checking patients in and out and arranging appointments.