Musculoskeletal Specialist First Contact Physiotherapy (FCP) Services

Image of Physiotherapy

About the Services

This is an assessment and advice service for those people registered with Falkland Surgery of Kennet PCN in West Berkshire 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
  • Women’s Health Musculoskeletal conditions like – Pelvic girdle pain, Diastasis recti, Pregnancy related back pain

How does a musculoskeletal Specialist first contact physiotherapist work?

  • A typical FCP or MSK appointment involves assessment, diagnosis and first-line management. 
  • MSK Specialists FCP can also refer patients for a course of physiotherapy treatment, order investigations (eg: Joint X-Ray) or make referrals into secondary care services or specialist services (eg: CSS, IPASS, etc.) (Rheumatology, pain management, etc.) using the same pathways as GPs. 
  • MSK Specialists FCP are also able to provide sick notes to patients.  

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

MSK Specialists First Contact Practitioner Physiotherapist (FCP) role:

The role of the MSK Specialists 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, service user/ patient do not need to see GP with these kinds of problems, so book an appointment with MSK Specialists FCP instead of with GP. The FCP service will provides a thorough assessment and advice about the best path of patient care.

Benefits of First Contact Physiotherapy Service to Patients

  • Quick access to expert MSK assessment, diagnosis, advice & getting a cleat treatment plan. 
  • 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.