A new service making physiotherapists more accessible than ever before is being rolled out across the region.
First Contact Practitioners has already begun to establish itself in GP practices with two practitioners currently based in Annandale and Nithsdale and one in Dumfries. There are plans in place to recruit to more posts in the near future working towards providing a level of access across localities.
The service aims of the First Contact posts are to:
- Establish a sustainable integrated service within the resources available initially to the majority of patients in GP practices in Dumfries and Galloway
- Enable the self-management of MSK conditions
- Deliver earlier access to appropriate management of MSK conditions
- Ensure appropriate use of specialist services and pathways
- Contribute to the appropriate and safe use of prescribed medication in MSK
- Embed multidisciplinary person-centred MSK provision within practices
- Release GP time currently spent on MSK conditions
Elsewhere in Scotland these roles are well-established and have been shown to reduce referral into secondary care and to MSK physiotherapy and above all streamlining the patient journey.
Helen Fletcher, AHP Community Pathway Manager, says: “Here in Dumfries and Galloway we are on a journey with the development of First Contact Practitioners and we are grateful to colleagues locally, and across Scotland, who are helping us to navigate our way to providing the service for people who need prompt access to MSK.”
Dr Robbie Currie, Charlotte Medical Practice, Dumfries said: “The First Contact Practitioner service is brilliant. Our patients are delighted. The service has the potential to transform this particular aspect of patient care.”
Hayley Peden, Practice Manager, St.Michaels Medical Centre, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ruth to the Practice; she will be a great addition to the clinical team. Patients will benefit from her extensive knowledge of managing a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions.”