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Primary care musculoskeletal first contact practitioner
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust considered extending the scope of a physiotherapist.
The trust wanted a musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapist to work in a GP practice as a first contact practitioner. It was thought this could improve the patient pathway and have a positive impact on GP capacity.
The trust proposed this would result in:
- fewer face to face contacts
- quicker access to care
- the need for fewer prescriptions
The extended MSK role allows the clinician to make radiological referrals, provide injection therapies and refer directly into secondary care. This project was part of a vanguard pilot and collaborated with a local GP practice; it has now expanded into other practices and as part of a primary care access centre providing first contact work.
Results showed that an MSK physiotherapist:
- manages 64% of patients with advice and guidance
- refers less than 20% of patients for physiotherapy - compared to a GP practice (30%)
- makes significantly fewer prescription requests - 8% compared to 40%
- provides quicker access for diagnostics and direct surgical referrals with full diagnostic work up before referral (such as MRI)
- has high patient satisfaction
The model has been used in supporting GP hubs in Hampshire.
- Last updated:
- 25 June 2019