First Contact Physiotherapy Pilot

What is this?

We are piloting a First Contact Practitioner service in some of our South Reading Practices. The pilot will run initially from the 4th Sept to the 1st Nov 2019.

The pilot will be for patients presenting with a musculoskeletal (MSK) problem who are offered an appointment with an Advanced Level Physiotherapist (ALP) as an alternative to seeing a GP. This will improve your access to the right care, at the right time from the right person.

An ALP is usually an experienced practice physiotherapist who has the advanced skills necessary to assess, diagnose and manage MSK problems

Why is this helpful?

It has been estimated that MSK conditions alone account for around one in five GP appointments. The FCP service has the following benefits:

  • Quick access to expert MSK assessment, diagnosis, treatment & advice
  • Increased emphasis on self-management
  • Improved patient experience
  • Longer appointment times, meaning patients feel listened to, cared for and reassured
  • Reduced work-load on GP’s – reducing GP waiting times

Who can be seen?

  • Patients aged 18 and over
  • MSK Conditions (which you are not already under treatment for)
  • Soft tissue/Muscle/Tendon/Ligament strains/sprains
  • Joint pain/Injury
  • Acute flare up of a long-term condition
  • Back/Neck pain
  • Postural pain/problems
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Minor trauma (Fall/ Sports Injury)

How do I book in?

Please contact your GP practice as normal and the receptionist will guide you through the process

What should I expect from my FCP appointment?

An appointment will last 20 minutes. If you require a longer appointment due to additional needs, please advise on booking

A brief history of the problem will be taken before several clinical tests will be performed. The aim of FCP is to assess the problem in order to decide what you require to maximise your recovery

A majority of patients will be discharged with advice and exercises. If symptoms persist you have the ability to book back in to see the ALP where further treatment options can be discussed.

Assuming the appropriate MSK patients have been booked in, very little require GP input, but if it is, then this can be easily organised between the ALP and the GP’s.

ALP’s also have the ability to refer you on for further care if deemed appropriate. This may include being referred for a course of Physiotherapy to a community-based service, referral for imaging (x-rays or scans), joint injections or to the orthopaedic team.

For further information on the FCP model please visit the first contact practitioner website.