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First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP)

Preksha Shah FCP

What is a First Contact Physiotherapist?

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

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

Exclusion criteria:

  1. If you are under the age of 16
  2. If you issue is related to pregnancy
  3. Acute traumatic injuries
  4. If you need Obstetric, Gynaecology or Neurological Physiotherapy
  5. Amputees or bespoke orthotics

How to make an appointment with the FCP?

  1. Please call and speak to reception. Not currently available to book online or through the app as each appointment needs to be triaged

Can a FCP offer a course of physiotherapy?

  1. Unfortunately not. The FCP role is to help initially diagnose and organise appropriate management. It will allow faster access to manage MSK problems.