Rather than seeing a GP and then being referred for a physio appointment, which can take up to six weeks, Totally’s first contact practitioner service means that patients with MSK conditions go straight to get help from a specialist physiotherapist. This makes wait and recovery times shorter, frees up GP appointments, and reduces the need for medication.

MSK conditions include those which impact the muscles, bones and joints, and include back pain and some rarer autoimmune diseases. There are over 200 types of MSK conditions which affect adults and children, having a detrimental effect on their quality of life. MSK problems are linked to various co-morbidities including depression, obesity and diabetes. It is known that people suffer with MSK issues longer than any other chronic conditions.

Having FCPs in primary care benefits not only patients but also GPs, GP practices, CCGs and the wider health economy. The use of FCPs can address many of the challenges in the current GP referral system including reducing waiting times, improving quality and speed of treatment and recovery, increasing self-management, reducing inappropriate referrals to secondary care, reducing GP workload and lessening the strain on NHS services.

The benefits of FCPs:

  • Faster access to MSK care
  • Longer, more in-depth appointments
  • Reduced waiting times
  • Reduced referrals to other NHS departments
  • Higher quality of care