Pioneering MSK practitioner role gets RCGP recognition

Amanda Hensman-Crook’s pioneering work developing a first point of contact specialist physio role in GP clinics has been shortlisted for a Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) service innovation award.


Amanda Hensman-Crook (left): MSK problems can take up 25%-40% of GP workloads

Two years ago her role of musculoskeletal (MSK) practitioner at Windermere Health Centre featured in Frontline as an example of how advanced physios can ease GP workload pressures.

Ms Hensman-Crook is now working with the CSP’s primary care reference group and Health Education England to raise awareness of the MSK practitioner role, while mentoring advanced physios from across the UK. ‘It’s an emerging role and it’s gathering momentum,’ she told Frontline.

She said that being shortlisted for the RCGP’s Bright Ideas award was helping to spread the word to GPs. ‘Even if I don’t win, it’s a really great way of pushing the idea of physiotherapy first point of contact services to GPs.’

Her article on the Bright Ideas section of the RCGP website shows that the MSK service was saving on average 560 GP appointments a year at the Windermere Health Centre.

‘MSK problems can take up 25-40 per cent of GP workloads, so a scheme such as this one can really take the pressure off, especially with the current GP recruitment problems,’ she said.

Ms Hensman-Crook will be giving a talk on the MSK practitioner role at NHS Expo in London on 11 September. She wants to emphasise to physio colleagues that it is an assessment, diagnostic and triage role. ‘We are sitting in the GP chair, we are not doing hands-on treatment or taking away from core physiotherapy,’ she added.

The Bright Ideas winners will be announced at an RCGP event on 19 September.

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