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Community Physiotherapists

First contact Physiotherapist (FCP) Specialist MSK Physiotherapy service

This is an assessment and advice service for those people registered with a GP surgery in Dacorum region, who have a musculoskeletal problem such as:

  • Back or neck pain- radiating arm and leg pain in absence of recent change in bowel, bladder and sexual function (Cauda Equina Syndrome).

  • Sprains or strains- ankle and shoulder sprain, wrist sprain etc

  • Sports injuries- hamstring, quadriceps, Achilles tendon or knee ligament injury

  • Joint or muscle pain- shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, elbow, wrist


What does an appointment with a musculoskeletal First Contact Physiotherapist involve?

An FCP appointment involves assessment, diagnosis and first-line management. FCPs can also refer patients for a course of physiotherapy treatment, order investigations or make referrals into secondary care services using the same pathways as GPs. Some FCPs are also able to independently prescribe and provide injection therapy.

As a person-centred service, most appointments include self-management advice, social prescribing, and discussions about physical activity and fitness for work.

The First Contact Practitioner Physiotherapist (FCP) role:

The role of the FCP in primary care is to assess patients with soft tissue, muscle and joint pain and to decide on the most appropriate management pathway. This is to promote early access and right person at the right time at right place.

In most cases, you do not need to see your GP with these kinds of problems, so book an appointment in the with FCP instead of with your doctor. The service will provide you with a thorough assessment and advice about the best path of care for you. 

How do I access the service?

You can book an appointment directly with the FCP through your doctor’s reception team. You should ask for the FCP appointment, and in many cases, these will take place in your own practice. In some instances, you may be offered an appointment in a nearby clinic, but this will not affect the care you will receive.

Benefits to service user

•      Quick access to expert MSK assessment, diagnosis, treatment & advice.

•      Prevention of short-term problems becoming long-term conditions.

•      Improved patient experience.

•      A shorter pathway, so patients have fewer appointments to attend.

•      Simple logistics, so patients are less likely to miss appointments, or to suffer administrative errors.

•      Opportunity to gain lifestyle/physical activity advice.

•      Longer appointment times, meaning patients feel listened to, cared for and reassured.

The Team

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