Physiotherapy First Contact Practitioner

Physiotherapist massaging a woman's shoulder

The practices have employed senior / advanced practice physiotherapists to see patients with new MSK problems as an alternative to seeing a GP.

Patients contact the practice and ask for a GP appointment and if it is a new or acute MSK problem they are offered an appointment with the physiotherapist as an alternative to the GP.

The service promotes our vision to deliver a more person-centred approach to care and our aim to improve outcomes and value our patients time by ensuring our patients see the right professional, first time.

Positive impacts include: excellent patient feedback, an improved pathway and effective use of community physiotherapy, reduced referrals to secondary care, reduced prescribing, reduced patient time away from work (fit notes), shared learning and skills development.

Project Funding

One practice is funded via GPAF and the other practice funds the service directly.

Project Implementation Date

The pilots started in May/June 2016. The pilots evaluated well and both practices have continued to fund the service until the local health economy completes the redesign of the MSK pathways. There is an aspiration to roll this out across all practices via funding from the redesign of the current MSK and orthopaedic pathways.

Practices in the Project

2 practices in Winsford as detailed above.

Contribution to the High Impact Changes

This project contributes to the following HICs: • Active signposting • Develop the team • Partnership working

  • Both practices have used it to signpost patients to a more appropriate first contact professional.
  • Pathways and processes have been reviewed.
  • Learning has been shared both within individual practices and across the wider healthcare system as an example clinically and of cost-effective care.
  • Other practices in the CCGs are now piloting the service.
  • The pilot has been evaluated by Keele University and was presented at the RCGP annual conference in October 2017 where Dr Arvind Madan, NHSE Director of Primary Care gave support for the roll out across primary care in 2018.
Dice spelling out the word examples

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