The first contact practitioner (FCP) service allows patients contacting their GP surgeries with musculoskeletal pain to be seen quickly by a specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist. They will be able to quickly assess, diagnose and provide information on appropriate individualised rehabilitation and management.
Musculoskeletal FCPs form part of NHS England’s long-term plan to:
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions make up to a third of a GP’s caseload, and this number increases as patients get older. 85% of these patients do not need to see a GP and can be effectively managed by an experienced MSK clinician.
Having provided first contact physiotherapy since 2016 (initially via a CCG trial) we consider ourselves to have great expertise in the delivery of this service. This depth of experience has allowed us to successfully partner with 50+ primary care networks. Currently, we work across 11 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and provide FCP services for over 425+ GP practices covering over 3.4 million patients.
With over 88 FCP accredited physiotherapists, we recognise the importance of clinical governance and development. We have a robust introduction and training plan to ensure our high standards are maintained with impeccable consistency. Recognising the specific demands of the FCP role, we have developed an ongoing training programme to maintain competencies linked to the Health Education England (HEE) Roadmap.
Our average monthly data for patients using FCP:
12,279 – total appointments
83% – self-managed without an onward referral
<5% – require input from GP*
*medical review, medication review, injection therapy or imaging request.
The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) has been introduced by the NHS to support workforce planning within primary care.
The additional roles that fall under the ARRS are physiotherapists, clinical pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physician associates, dieticians, podiatrists, occupational therapists, community paramedics, nursing associates and trainee nursing associates, social prescribing link workers, health care coordinators and health and wellbeing coaches.
Pure Physiotherapy has been involved in the delivery of first contact physiotherapists into the NHS for several years. Since the rollout of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, we have been working across the UK with the provision of expert first contact physiotherapists supporting primary care networks.
Physiotherapists working within primary care typically work as first contact practitioners, allowing patients to be directed to a musculoskeletal specialist in the first instance. This improves the pathway for patients and reducing pressure on other primary care for my staff.
Get in touch now to find out more about our first contact practitioner services and how we can help you.