More Physios at First Point of Contact
NHS England have announced a new scheme allowing more physiotherapists to become the first point of contact for patients with musculoskeletal problems.
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The national primary care director for NHS England, Dr Arvind Madan, declared last week that after the success of recent pilot studies, he hopes to begin rolling out the scheme by the start of 2018. CSP’s head of policy, Rachel Newton, has described the news as a ‘really big step forward’.
As a result of this announcement, patients with musculoskeletal issues can now have direct access to musculoskeletal professionals, rather than going by their GP consulting room first. Currently, around one fifth of patients visiting their GP have a musculoskeletal problem. However, many are not referred to a physio until their symptoms have become significantly worse.
There have been a number of pilot experiments running in different GP surgeries throughout the UK. The experiment made physios the first point of contact for patients with MSK problems rather than their GP.
The findings have shown significant cost savings, improved patient outcomes and high satisfaction rates. Ms Newton has said; “The biggest benefit will be to patients because it means that somebody with an MSK issue gets faster access to a better service within primary care at the point where they are most likely to go for help”.