Expansion of the first contact physiotherapy model in GP surgeries in Northern Ireland has continued with recruitment success reported in two trusts.
In South Eastern, a full establishment of first contact physiotherapy practitioners will be in post by 1 March 2019, with 50 per cent in place by the new year.
Appointments have been made to eight 8a posts, which is what has been funded by the Department of Health for the Down GP federation area.
‘We’re also continuing with our pilot area in the Comber Health Centre and we’re soon hoping to move in to another GP practice in North Down,’ said South Eastern physiotherapy lead Aveen McCraith.
‘We’ve met with the GPs and they are also very happy with the progress we’ve made to date with internal and external applicants, including from Scotland.
‘We’re absolutely delighted that we have interest from senior practitioners from outside the province.’
At the 2018 Advancing Healthcare Awards on 7 November, South Eastern trust won the enhancing support in primary care award for its FCP project at Comber Health Centre.
Elsewhere in the region, Western Trust is in the final stages of appointing 20 first contact physiotherapists.
Physiotherapy consultant Vicki Quinn said: ‘It’s really exciting, very positive and transformational for patients with MSK problems.’
Meanwhile, today, Elaine McConnell, head of physiotherapy services at the Belfast Trust, said she was ‘delighted’ to announce that they will soon be recruiting nine 8a FCP posts for the West Belfast GP Federation area.
These posts in Northern Ireland join a growing number of first contact physios across the UK who effectively manage musculoskeletal caseloads within general practices. The CSP continues to work with key decision makers in supporting the development, implementation and evaluation of these services.
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