First Contact Physiotherapist FCP Specialist MSK Physiotherapy Service

FCP’s provide assessment and advise for those who have a musculoskeletal problem such as:

  • Back or neck pain- radiating arm and leg pain in absence of recent change in bowel, bladder and sexual function (Cauda Equina Syndrome).
  • Sprains or strains- ankle and shoulder sprain, wrist sprain etc *Sports injuries- hamstring, quadriceps, Achilles tendon or knee ligament injury *Joint or muscle pain- shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, elbow, wrist.

What is a musculoskeletal first contact physiotherapist?

A typical FCP appointment involves assessment, diagnosis and first-line management. FCPs can also refer patients for a course of physiotherapy treatment, order investigations or make referrals into secondary care services using the same pathways as GPs. Some FCPs are also able to independently prescribe and provide injection therapy.

As a person-centred service, most appointments include self-management advice, social prescribing, and discussions about physical activity and fitness for work.

The First Contact Practitioner Physiotherapist (FCP) role

The role of the FCP in primary care is to assess patients with soft tissue, muscle and joint pain and to decide on the most appropriate management pathway. This is to promote early access and right person at the right time at right place.