What is first contact physiotherapy?

First Contact Physiotherapists (FCPs) are physiotherapists usually based in GP surgeries with an expertise in the assessment and management of musculoskeletal conditions.

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If your GP surgery has a first contact physiotherapy service, you can book an appointment directly with a physiotherapist via the receptionist, which means you won’t need to wait for a referral from a doctor.

You may be eligible for an appointment with a physiotherapist for the following problems:

  • All soft tissue injuries, sprains, strains or sports injuries
  • Arthritis – any joint
  • Possible problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons or bone, eg tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ankle sprains
  • Spinal pain including lower back pain, mid-back pain and neck pain
  • Spinal-related pain in arms or legs, including nerve symptoms, eg pins and needles or numbness
  • Changes to walking
  • Post-orthopaedic surgery

The physiotherapist will:

  • Assess you and diagnose what’s happening
  • Give expert advice on how best to manage your condition
  • Refer you on to specialist services if necessary

Contact your GP surgery for more information.