© Hastings & Rother Healthcare 2023
We have designed this leaflet to answer the frequently asked questions about First Contact Physiotherapy (FCP) and the range of benefits that enable patients to get the most out of this service.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GP AND FCP PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
General Practitioners (GP’s) are highly skilled medical practitioners that have a lot of general knowledge across a broad range of medical issues. As GP’s, Physiotherapists also qualify through medical school, however, they specialise in how the body moves by using muscles, bones and joints. They are expert in assessing the cause of pain and how to help you recover from issues and pain from moving around.
ARE PHYSIOS RECOGNISED QUALIFIED HEALTH PRACTITIONERS?
All of our Physiotherapists are degree qualified and are Members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. They are highly qualified, experienced medical professionals that operate within the NHS and private practice.
IF I HAVE A JOINT OR MUSCLE PAIN ISSUE, WHY IS SEEING A MUSCULOSKELETAL
PRACTITIONER BETTER THAN SEEING A GP FOR ME?
Fully qualified Physio FCP’s will assess and diagnose musculoskeletal issues, giving expert advice on how best to manage the conditions and when required refer on for further treatment or specialist services. Typically GP’s would refer you onto a physiotherapist as a first step to help with diagnosis. Seeing the Physio as a first appointment will give you direct access to expert advice, within a typically short waiting time, ultimately helping you recover and return to normal more quickly.
WHAT IF MY CASE IS COMPLEX, CAN A PHYSIO REFER ME FOR OTHER SERVICES AS A GP CAN?
Our Physio’s are fully qualified healthcare practitioners. They have the ability to refer you on for investigations and they can also refer you on for more physiotherapy if required. In effect, they have all the same options to help you recover as a GP does.
HOW DO I GET AN APPOINTMENT WITH A PHYSIO FCP INSTEAD OF GP?
You get an appointment in the same way as you would ask for a GP appointment. Simply call your doctor, the reception team will ask you a few questions to ensure you are getting the right approach for your condition and they will book you in.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY FCP APPOINTMENT?
An appointment will last 20 minutes. A brief history of the problem will be taken before several clinical tests will be performed. FCP aims to assess the problem to decide the most appropriate treatment pathway. Most patients will be discharged with advice and exercises. If symptoms persist you have the ability to book back in to see the FCP where further treatment options can be discussed. FCP can also refer you on for further care if deemed appropriate. This may include referral for x- rays or scans, joint injections or to the orthopaedic team.
WILL I HAVE TO COME TO THE GP PRACTICE?
With the current COVID situation the vast majority of the Physio FCP appointments can be done via a virtual appointment. Most smart devices including computers, laptops, tablets or phone are suitable. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a smart device they can also be done via phone. Occasionally the physio may decide that a further follow up is required where you’ll be invited to attend a face to face appointment. Hopefully, this leaflet has helped you more fully understand the benefits of seeing a physio FCP. If you have any queries or concerns please feel to raise this with the reception team at your GP practice.