GP practices trial primary care physiotherapy

Rhondda primary care GPs cluster will decide whether to axe or extend physiotherapy in primary care surgeries following a six-month trial.


Back pain is a major part of the caseload for the Cwm Taf physios

Patients with back pain and other musculoskeletal problems are currently receiving physiotherapy at two GP practices in Porth Farm and Tylorstown, in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The practice manager in Porth Farm, Karen Shepperd, said that under the pilot scheme patients could book an assessment with a physiotherapist without seeing a GP.

‘It makes little sense for patients to see a GP when the physiotherapist they are likely to be referred to could assess and diagnose them in the first instance,’ she said.

‘This will allow for more GP appointments to be freed up.’

One of the physiotherapists taking part in the pilot, Ben Searle, said: ‘Patients benefit from early intervention. We can see them either on the same day or soon afterwards.’

Back pain is a major part of the caseload for him and other physios, he said, adding: ‘The patients can be reassured by finding out that their pain is not something too serious and is something that can be dealt with over a period of time.

‘We have seen dozens of patients during the course of the trial and the vast majority can be helped here in the surgery.

‘If there are any indications of a more serious underlying medical or neurological problem, we can refer them for further investigations.’


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