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There are four main areas where physiotherapists can support in primary care


First contact practice is an increasingly established model of care designed to deliver a streamlined, patient-centred service and support the growing demands on general practice.

Our goals:

  • Support GPs by taking on the MSK caseload creating capacity to focus on medically complex patients
  • Create an efficient MSK pathway for patients
  • Reduce diagnostics
  • Improve the quality of referral and conversion rate to surgery in orthopedics.

"Reduces unnecessary imaging, reduces secondary care referral with increased quality and conversion rate to surgery, reduces prescribing costs and allows more time for GPs to manage medical complexity."

Just 20% of patients consulting the FCP reported visiting their GP for the same problem

54% of patients’ reported less impact of their MSK condition on work performance at 3 months (as measured by the Stanford Presenteeism Scale


Enabling and supporting individuals to recover or adjust, to achieve their full potential and to live as full and active lives as possible. Rehabilitation should start as soon as possible to speed recovery, so early rehabilitation in primary care is essential. Research shows it can improve mobility and activity levels, shorten the amount of time spent in hospital or off work and greatly improve the quality of your life. Physiotherapists in primary care support the following activity and benefits:

  • Prehabilitation: identification of early indications for rehabilitation and getting fit preoperatively to aid post-operative recovery
  • Early intervention prevents acute conditions from becoming a chronic issue and improves the speed of recovery
  • Post operative rehabilitation expedites recovery from operative procedures and safeguards against complications
  • Rehabilitation prevents deconditioning and safeguards against further problems.

Our goals:

  • improve rates and speed of recovery 
  • prevention of chronic issues

“My first impression, it’s been excellent, it’s had me in and out of here way quicker than it would have done if I’d have had to wait for the GP. And actually [FCP]’s knowledge and expertise is much more specific to the problem …than possibly a GP who again, I’m just stereotyping, who possibly would have focussed on the pain, and the pain relief, rather than the rehabilitation” – Patient

95% of patients received sufficient information from their FCP on self-care relating to their MSK problem

227,000 people per year have a MSK disorder of the back, 215,000 upper limbs and neck and 96,000 of the lower limbs. Evidence shows early rehabilitation reduces the burden on the MSK pathway and enables patients to remain in work.



Our goals:

  • reduce the number of falls
  • reduce unplanned GP visits, 999/111 calls, ED attendances and unplanned admissions
  • improved patient mobility and self-care
  • improved understanding and concordance with medication
  • increased quality of life for patients
  • improved links with acute and community providers and 3rd Sector and the wider cross-organisational teams


“intervention improved confidence by 97%. 63% of patients had an overall improvement in condition”

94% of patients reported being ‘Likely’ or ‘Very likely’ to recommend the FCP service to friends and family. 

Public health

Physiotherapists positively affect the physical mental and social wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations.

Our goals 

  • prevention of ill health
  • management to support rehabilitation
  • reduction in sickness absence
  • reduced requests for GP Fit notes
  • social prescribing

Patients spoke confidently about the self-management advice they had been given and also described an associated sense of self-efficacy.

“I really love working in the clinics. I feel you’re just getting to people so much quicker and giving them the right information to make changes” - FCP