GPs support physios as a first point of contact in surgeries

The CSP’s proposals for physiotherapists to work in GP practices as a first point of contact for patients were strongly supported by delegates at a British Medical Association (BMA) conference in London.

Andy Lord: GPs asked how they could introduce the model as soon as possible

GPs, practice managers and BMA policy officers heard about the potential for physios to save GPs’ time, cut costs for prescriptions, X-rays and scans, and reduce hospital referrals, during a CSP workshop at the event on 20 April.

The society’s presentation showed how the model would work. For example, a patient calling their GP surgery for an appointment would be asked about their condition and, where appropriate, if they would like to see a physio.

It covered options for funding and commissioning, including physiotherapists being employed by GPs, or appointed as practice partners. And delegates heard that funding could come from co-commissioning, where clinical commissioning groups are responsible for primary care funding, with the aim of delivering care outside hospital.

CSP project manager Andy Lord said: ‘The GPs gave a good critical ear to the concepts we presented, but overall they were very positive. What struck us was that the GPs were asking us how they could introduce this as soon as possible.’

He also welcomed an expression of interest from BMA policy officers to work with the CSP and make the model a reality: 'It’s great to be able to progress this work with colleagues from other professions and organisations such as the BMA.’

The workshop was led by Mr Lord and Ruth ten Hove, the CSP’s head of research and development.

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