Up to 50 people a day have been self-referring to physiotherapy in the county of Worcestershire since a new website launched in June.
The Move to Improve website allows people to self-refer to physiotherapy
Developed by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the Move to Improve website aims to give patients an easy, efficient way to access an appropriate level of physio care and support.
All of the trust’s senior physio staff helped with the development of the website and the self-referral model. One of those involved was Gordon Smith, a senior lecturer practitioner at the University of Worcester and physiotherapy team leader at Evesham Community Hospital.
He told Frontline: ‘We have received on average around 50 self-referrals per day since the process was launched, and the Move to Improve site attracted over 1,000 hits in its first week.’
The website provides tips and advice about how people can manage common problems like back and shoulder pain more effectively by themselves.
If users of the site still require support from an NHS physiotherapist, it enables them to self-refer to physiotherapy, instead of attending a GP appointment to receive a referral.
Development backed by CSP materials
Mr Smith said the project’s development was based on the accepted best practice of self-referral being the best way to access physiotherapy.
‘Exercise, physical activity and lifestyle changes invariably come out as the most effective option we have to deliver within physiotherapy in nearly every study undertaken in this area,’ he said.
‘And CSP’s Physiotherapy Works campaign and also the writings of chief executive Karen Middleton were instrumental in supporting this.’
Work on the project began at the start of the year and the self-referral process was trialled with a small number of GP surgeries.
It is now available for residents in places such as Evesham, Pershore, Malvern, Tenbury, Droitwich, Worcester and Upton.
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