The Musculoskeletal Directorate is made up of of five Wards, one Day Treatment ward, and Outpatient Departments at the Freeman Hospital and Royal Victoria Infirmary. They specialise in all musculoskeletal conditions.

The specialty units include:

  • a Major Trauma unit
  • Neck of Femur unit
  • Trauma Orthopaedics
  • Elective Orthopaedics
  • Soft tissue and bone tumour Sarcoma Service
  • Emergency and Elective Spinal conditions
  • Rheumatology Services.

Our wards

Freeman Hospital

  • Ward 20: A 20-bed Orthopaedic Elective Ward specialising in upper and lower limb surgery, Sarcoma surgery and Rheumatology. It also has a 13-bed Rheumatology Day unit open Monday to Friday specialising in treatments for all Rheumatology conditions.
  • Ward 19: A 33-bed Orthopaedic Elective Ward specialising in hip and knee arthroplasty surgery and foot and ankle surgery.
  • Ward 4: A Day Treatment centre open Monday to Friday for day of surgery arrival patients for multiple Directorates: Orthopaedics, Surgery, ENT and Urology. Future plans to look at openning Saturday.
  • MSU OPA: This Outpatient department caters for all elective surgery, Sarcoma and Rheumatology services with a metabolic bone unit.


  • Ward 22: A 31 bedded trauma ward consisting of an 18 bedded Major Trauma unit and a 14 bedded Neck of Femur unit.
  • Ward 23: A 33 bedded Trauma Orthopaedic ward specialising in all aspects of orthopaedic trauma
  • Ward 42: Soon to be increasing bed capacity from 20 beds to 27 beds specialising in elective and emergency spinal services, elective upper and lower limb patients.
  • Fracture Clinic: This outpatient department caters for all trauma orthopaedic patients and elective spinal patients.

Working here

Shift patterns

We operate a varying shift pattern on the wards which include 12 hour shifts, but we also accommodate shorter shifts.

The 12 hour shifts start at 7.30am till 8.45pm; early shifts are from 7.30am till 2.30pm; late shifts 1.45pm till 8.45pm; and the night shifts from 8.30pm till 7.40am. All staff undertake internal rotation on the wards.

Staff groups

We have the following staff working within the departments:

  • Matron
  • Sister/Charge Nurse
  • Clinical Educator
  • Specialist Nurses
  • Staff Nurses
  • Assistant Practitioners
  • Healthcare Assistants
  • Ward Clerks
  • Housekeeper.

Staff training

We provide a preceptorship package that gives staff an excellent structured preceptorship supported with supernumerary practice: 

  • all staff are given the opportunity to attend regular study, and get support from our clinical educator within the clinical area
  • the Clinical Educator arranges regular mandatory training days for staff
  • we have opportunities to work on wards within the Directorate to increase experience in all Orthopaedic conditions
  • staff are supported to attend any in-house study days and if they would like to further develop, there are opportunities to apply for university courses.

More information

For more information about working in Musculoskeltal Services, please contact:

  • Ruth Saunders, Matron            
  • email:               
  • tel: 0191 244 8618

You can get more information about our Musculoskeletal Services.

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