First contact practitioner funding announced in Northern Ireland

A significant investment in first contact practitioner roles in Northern Ireland is a ‘huge boost’ for patients and the NHS as a whole, says the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

The Department of Health unveiled details of its £100m Health and Social Care Transformation Fund today (May 9), which included £5m for the rollout of multi-disciplinary teams in GP practices.

These will include first contact practitioner roles and the announcement was welcomed by the CSP.

Tom Sullivan, policy and public affairs manager for the CSP in Northern Ireland, said:

‘The establishment of practice-based physiotherapist roles is a major win for patients, who will benefit from faster access to the specialist advice and assessment they need.

‘Having these physiotherapists available as a first point of contact for patients will also ease pressures on GPs, who are facing ever-growing demand.

‘Furthermore, these roles are shown to save money by reducing the number of patients sent for unnecessary diagnostic tests such as x-rays and scans, or being referred on to secondary care.

‘So this is a huge boost for patients, GPs and for the system and we strongly welcome today’s announcement.

‘This is what transforming services is all about - ensuring that patients in need are able to access the right care at the right time in the right location.’

More details on the announcement can be found here.

Note to editors

For further media information about the CSP please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111 or email Out of hours please call Jon Ryan, head of press and PR on 07917 091 200.

1. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body. We have more than 58,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.

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