We now have physiotherapists and dieticians as part of our team. Our GPs or nurses will refer you to a dietician if you need more expert dietary advice. You may be offered an appointment with our physio if you have an acute musculoskeletal problem which they can help diagnose and advise you on initial management: A First Contact Practitioner (FCP) is a physiotherapist who is professionally qualified to treat patients without a referral from a GP or other healthcare professional. FCPs provide the first point of contact whereby those who visit a GP for a musculoskeletal (MSK) problem will instead have an appointment with an FCP physiotherapist.
The role of an FCP is to work within GP surgeries and offer physiotherapy appointments for patients with MSK conditions. This gives the patients immediate access to physiotherapy, as oppose to the traditional process where a patient would have to be consulted by a GP first, then referred on to a physiotherapy department which usually involves long waiting times. Having FCPs work alongside doctors means less GP appointments are required as reception staff can book patients directly in with the FCP, treatment is administered quicker and recovery is expedited. The benefits of FCPs are numerous, FCPs help to lessen the strain on already burdened GP practices and offer a higher quality of care for patients.