What is First Contact Physiotherapy?

First Contact Physiotherapists (FCP) are experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapists, with many years’ experience working in MSK. Patients can see an FCP for an assessment directly at their GP practice, without needing to see a GP or be referred externally.

How to access an FCP appointment?

You do not need to see a GP to get an appointment with an FCP, simply call your GP Practice, explain that you are having a MSK problem (joint, bone, muscle, tendon), and they can book you directly with FCP. You can also ask your GP, or any other practitioner at your GP Practice, to do this if you have an appointment with them about something else. There is no referral form required.

What to expect during your FCP appointment?

Your FCP will take a detailed history of your condition, they may also question some of your past medical history to gain a better understanding of your symptoms and to rule out other pathology. They will then assess the joint at fault to aim to gain a detailed diagnosis, which will be explained to you.

The FCP and you will then come up with a plan moving forward, generally this is some rehabilitation exercises and advice on management of your condition.

The FCP’s work closely with the GP’s/Pharmacist, and often liaise about conditions and work together if this is required for the management of your condition (e.g. prescriptions and can provide sick notes).

Please arrive on time for your appointment. You are advised to arrive few minutes early. If you are late for more than 10mins, you will need to re-arrange the appointment.

Please note

The FCP service is not a physiotherapy treatment service, but your FCP will always make you aware to return if your condition is not getting better.

If your FCP feels you need ongoing physiotherapy treatment, they will refer to the Hospital or Community Physiotherapy service or you can self-refer at ROH using below form https://www.roh.nhs.uk/patient-information/therapy-services/physiotherapy/473-physiotherapy-self-referral-form

If your FCP feels that you need further investigations or referral they are able to refer you for X-ray, or to hospital based services, or to the local joint injection service.

For more information about what do expect during your FCP appointment – please watch the following video: https://vimeo.com/574370220