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GeneralNov 27, 2020

First contact physiotherapy for MSK problems: lessons learned from Somerset

Ambitious plans to give patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems direct access to physiotherapists at a primary care level will only succeed if local services are designed in a coherent way.

That is one of the messages in an ‘early view’ report by Simon Ingram – an advanced physiotherapy practitioner and clinical lead for the first contact physiotherapy (FCP) service – and three colleagues who draw on their professional experiences at Somerset NHS Trust.

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With up to one third of GP visits involving MSK problems, physios are playing key roles

Their report, titled Implementation of a provider based musculoskeletal first contact physiotherapy service model: Key points to consider, was published by the journal Musculoskeletal Care on 23 November.

It states that NHS England (NHSE) in their area has called for half the population to be given access to FCPs by March next year, with this being extended to 100 per cent by March 2023.

‘An integral part of the long-term plan for the NHS is to reshape primary care by introducing primary care networks (PCNs) and new roles,’ the paper states.

‘These roles aim to increase capacity, enhance the skill mix and reduce the pressure on general practitioners by ensuring patients see the right person, at the right time.’

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