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First Contact Practitioner
Posted on 27 Aug 2021
What is a First Contact Practitioner?
They are experienced Musculoskeletal Specialists who are employed to support GP’s as part of the healthcare team. The role was created to optimize patient care in the primary care setting to help them see the right person at the right time.
What do they do?
FCP’s can: Assess and diagnose conditions
Give expert advice on how to best manage conditions
Refer onto specialist services
What type of problems can be seen?
Strains/sprain and sports injuries. Arthritis. Problems with muscle/ligaments/tendon or bone e.g. tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome. Spinal pain including lower/mid and neck pain. Spine related pain in arms/legs including nerve symptoms e.g. Pins and Needles or numbness. Following orthopaedic surgery.
What can’t be seen?
Anyone acutely unwell. children under 14. Any medication review for rheumatological or non-musculoskeletal conditions. Womens health, antenatal or postnatal problems. House bound patients. Neurological and respiratory conditions. Headaches. Mental health crises. Patients who do not want to see FCP
What are the benefits?
- Quicker access to treatment
- Reduced workload on the GP's and associated costs - reducing GP waiting times
- Reduced costs - on prescriptions and secondary referrals
- Increased emphasis on self-management and reduction in inappropriate referrals