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One-Stop Private Doctor-led MSK Clinics: The Convergence of Quality Care, Convenience and Affordability

What Are One-Stop MSK Clinics?

One-Stop Musculoskeletal (MSK) Clinics are specialised centres that focus exclusively on bone, joint and muscle health. These clinics offer a holistic and non-surgical approach to treating and managing MSK conditions.

man happy with knee injection

Quality care

Private Doctor-led Care: Experienced doctors in musculoskeletal medicine are at the heart of MSK clinics. Their expertise ensures accurate diagnoses and evidence-based treatments. Patients benefit from personalised attention and continuity of care. In the UK, doctors are regulated by the General Medical Council and the clinics, as healthcare providers, are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

Evidence-Based Practice: One-Stop private MSK Clinics adhere to practice standards and the latest in medical research, ensuring the best possible management and care.

Advanced Diagnostics: One-Stop MSK Clinics leverage provide ultrasound scanning and easy access to Xray and MR imaging (MRI). These imaging modalities allow doctors to visualise soft tissues, joints, bones and tendons leading to more targeted interventions.

doctor performing elbow ultrasound scan

Ultrasound-Guided Injections: These precise injections target affected areas directly, minimising discomfort and maximising effectiveness. Injections include: Hyaluronic Acid, PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma), Cortisone and Arthrosamid.

ultrasound guided knee injection

Digital Physiotherapy: Digital physiotherapy in one-stop MSK clinics offers a customised and advanced approach to rehabilitation. Patients receive a link to video content specifically tailored to their condition and recovery stage, featuring professional exercise guidance. This method not only personalises therapy to individual needs but also allows patients to engage with their rehabilitation at their convenience, enhancing adherence and speeding up recovery.

Patient Education: Empowering patients with knowledge through educational resources and personalised advice helps them understand their condition and actively participate in their recovery.

female patient looking at options for knee injection


One Stop: Recognising that time is precious, especially for patients managing pain or mobility issues, these clinics offer assessments, diagnostics, treatment delivery and planning in one appointment in the majority of cases.

Self referral: The ability for patients to self-refer to doctor-led private MSK clinics eliminates the need for GP or clinician referrals, streamlining access to specialised care. This direct approach significantly reduces waiting times that typically result from the referral process and allows patients to address their musculoskeletal issues more swiftly. By bypassing the initial step of visiting a general practitioner or waiting for insurer authorisation, patients can take a more proactive role in their health management, particularly beneficial for those familiar with their conditions and in need of specific treatments.

Online booking and Scheduling: These systems provide the convenience of booking appointments at any time without the need to call during business hours, which is particularly advantageous for those with busy schedules. Online platforms often display available time slots in real-time, allowing patients to choose appointments that best fit their personal and professional commitments. Additionally, online booking can enhance patient satisfaction by reducing waiting times and streamlining the registration process, making healthcare access quicker and more user-friendly. This digital approach not only improves efficiency but also empowers patients, giving them greater control over their healthcare management.

male patient booking clinic appointment online

Affordable Care

For self funding patients: Accessing MSK care in doctor-led, one-stop MSK clinics is more affordable compared to traditional healthcare models. These clinics streamline the process of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up, often within a single appointment, significantly reducing the time and costs associated with multiple visits and referrals. They offer a more efficient use of resources and potentially lower overhead costs. This model not only facilitates quicker access to and delivery of patient care, but also results in better value for self paying patients.

For privately insured patients: By choosing to self-fund their treatment at these affordable facilities, privately insured patients avoid making claims on their health insurance. This decision can prevent increases in their insurance premiums, which often result from frequent claims. Moreover, self referral ensures patients have immediate access to specialised care without the need for pre-approvals or restrictions often imposed by insurance providers. This approach not only expedites treatment but also maintains the integrity and value of their insurance for covering more severe health issues, potentially saving costs in the long run

Comparing One-Stop MSK Clinics to Traditional Multi-Appointment Fragmented Care

Let’s explore how One-Stop MSK Clinics differ from the traditional fragmented care model:


One-Stop Clinics

Traditional Care

Efficiency and Streamlining

Comprehensive assessments, diagnostics, and treatment planning in a single visit. No multiple appointments needed.

Patients navigate a maze of appointments with different specialists, leading to delays and fragmented care.

Patient Experience

Convenience and reduced waiting times appreciated by patients. Continuity of care fosters trust.

Fragmented care can be frustrating, with patients shuttling between providers and repeating their history.


Transparent pricing and efficient resource utilisation lead to cost savings.

Multiple appointments incur higher costs for patients and healthcare systems.

Table: How One-Stop Clinics offer a more streamlined, cost-effective, and holistic approach compared to traditional, fragmented healthcare models.

ACTIVATE Musculoskeletal Clinic in Kent and London's Harley Street stands out as an example of the success of a one-stop, private, doctor-led MSK clinic model evidence by patient feedback and testimonials. At ACTIVATE, patients experience the convenience and efficacy of receiving comprehensive assessments, diagnostics, and tailored treatment plans all in a single appointment, eliminating the need for GP referrals and reducing waiting times. The clinic utilises a wide array of services, including ultrasound-guided injections and digital physiotherapy.

About the Author: Dr. Mustafa Alnaib MBChB, MRCS, MSc, FEBOT is an orthopaedic surgeon, musculoskeletal doctor and Clinic Director at ACTIVATE Musculoskeletal Clinic in Kent


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