Hertfordshire Community Health Services

Proud to care
                     for you

Our Services

The service is provided by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust at Hemel Hempstead General Hospital (HHGH day hospital) and Watford General Hospital (WGH physiotherapy dept).

Eligibility/Exclusion Criteria
In West Hertfordshire the CROPS service is offered to adults with benign MSK conditions where serious pathology is not suspected and where immediate surgery is not indicated and/or conservative treatment (e.g physiotherapy) has not been successful.

Referrals are made by GP’s in the Watford and Dacorum Localities and West Herts therapy departments (with GP consent). Referrals arrive at the central CROPS office at Hemel Hempstead General Hospital, either directly or via the ‘Choice’ team.

Referrals are not accepted for

  • Children below 16 years old 
  • Lumps or bumps, e.g. ganglion, lipoma 
  • Patients requiring toe nail surgery 
  • Indication of a complex diagnostic problem 
  • Indication of ongoing complex symptom management

However, referrals for these conditions can be screened by CROPS and referred on as appropriate.


  • When the CROPS assessment and treatment is completed
  • When CROPS intervention is not appropriate or no longer indicated and or referred onto another speciality.
  • If the patient fails to attend without prior notice, or attempts to reschedule with less than 24 hours notice, or attempts to reschedule more than once within an episode of care
  • If the patient declines treatment within 6 weeks of the referral
  • If the patient behaves in an unacceptable manner

The services we offer are:

Once referred into the Community Rheumatology Orthopaedic and Pain Service (CROPS) you will begin a journey where you will be seen by advanced musculoskeletal practitioners who will be working alongside

  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Rheumatologists
  • Radiographers
  • Podiatrists
  • Many more skilled staff.

Following your comprehensive assessment you may be referred for investigations such as x-rays, blood tests or MRI’s, some of which will be done on the same day

This may be in the form of manual therapy, exercises, medication, injection therapy, education regarding condition, self-management, treatment options or access to secondary care (consultants) and/or other services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, foot health.

If it is necessary for you to have an operation, all the checks you need will be completed at your appointment, avoiding any unnecessary delay in the journey

Your doctor will be regularly informed of your progress

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, Unit 1a Howard Court, 14 Tewin Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1BW, T. 01707 388000 F. 01707 321840