What is a musculoskeletal first contact physiotherapist?
First contact physiotherapists (FCPs) are advanced practitioners working within primary care with extensive expertise in the clinical assessment, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.
FCPs see patients with (suspected or diagnosed) MSK conditions as the first point of contact, instead of a GP, and can be accessed directly by contacting the practice’s reception.
What do FCPs do during appointments?
A typical FCP appointment involves assessment, diagnosis and first-line treatment. 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.
How long are FCP appointments?
Most services find 20 minute appointments allow for safe and effective consultation.