First contact physiotherapy data and evidence

Read our most frequently asked questions about first contact physiotherapy (FCP) data collection and research evidence gathered.

About FCP data and evidence

Do I still have to submit data to the NHS England national FCP evaluation?

You are no longer required to submit National FCP data via the NHS Future Collaboration platform. However, the CSP still encourages collection and use of data at a local level. Services may be expected to submit data at a regional level. Data collection by FCPs is expected as part of the research pillar of advanced practice as defined by HEE but is relevant to all parts of the UK.

Can I still use the original FCP templates?

Yes. You may want to continue using the original templates to guide FCP data collection at a local or regional level. 

Can I amend the FCP templates?

Yes. We encourage you to amend the original templates to suit your local data requirements. You will likely need local IT support to do this. If it would help them to see the original coding tables used to develop the initial templates then please contact

Can I benchmark against other FCP services?

Yes but please make sure you are making appropriate comparisons. There are a number of variables between FCP services (eg rurality, population need, service design, employment model etc) that may make direct comparisons between services unfair. You may wish to explore some of the case studies or the data from the NHS England national FCP data evaluation available on the NHS Future Collaboration platform.

I don’t work with EMIS, Vision or SystmOne. Can I still collect FCP data?

Yes. You may need to develop your own FCP templates but we encourage all FCP services to be collecting data. If you or your local IT team would like a copy of the original coding tables used to develop the FCP templates for Vision, EMIS and SystmOne then please contact

I don’t work in England. Can I still use the FCP templates?

Yes. They work in almost all versions of EMIS, Vision or SystmOne so colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales can use them to collect local or regional data. You can also amend them to collect additional meaningful local data.

What sort of data should I collect in my FCP service?

It really depends on who the audience is for your data and what they want to know. For example, if the data is for you, commissioners or service management, then the requests for data will be different to frontline FCPs. To make sure you collect the most appropriate data to service the various requests you might want to look at the CSP resources on creating meaningful data and on using meaningful data.

What evidence is there to support the role of the FCP?

There is an increasing amount of evidence to support the role of FCP. We have pulled together a collection of research evidence relevant to FCP and this will be updated on a regular basis. Due to licensing requirements, we cannot share direct links. Members can access some journals via Discovery.

Download FCP related research publications January 2023


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