BMA positive about expanding physiotherapy in GP surgeries

Doctors’ leaders have indicated they are keen for more physiotherapists to act as a first point of contact in local primary care surgeries, helping to improve patient care.

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Ruth ten Hove: A real opportunity for the physiotherapy profession to optimise its contribution general practice

This January, during the latest in a series of meetings with the CSP, British Medical Association (BMA) officials said they would like to use the learning from existing models for primary care pharmacy as a basis to introduce new roles for physiotherapists.

Many GP surgeries in England have established services in which pharmacists work with patients to review and optimise prescriptions, and monitor long-term conditions.

Ruth ten Hove, the CSP’s head of development and research who was at the meeting, said: ‘This is a real opportunity for the physiotherapy profession to optimise its contribution to general practice and to the health of the population.’

She added, however, that the benefits of physiotherapy in primary care must be promoted both nationally and locally.

While the CSP was promoting the profession with the BMA, members also needed to engage with local GPs and CCGs, she said. They should make the case for how they could help reduce GP workloads and streamline the patient pathway.

‘If we don’t do this, then primary care services may develop in ways that do not include physiotherapy,’ she warned.

Meanwhile, the CSP has new resources about physiotherapy roles in primary care. For instance, guidance for GPs, commissioners and physiotherapists and a short animation showing the benefits of physiotherapy in primary care.

The CSP’s physiotherapy cost calculator can be used to help make the case for the financial benefits of physiotherapy.


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by Gill Hitchcock

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