First Contact Practitioner

Non-urgent advice: First Contact Practitioner

The FCP consultation will typically follow this path:

  1. Person presenting with an MSK condition is booked in to see an FCP (instead of the GP) by the Receptionist / person making the appointment.
  2. In one session the MSK First Contact Practitioner can assess and diagnose (including screening for serious pathology).

Potential interventions:

  • Give information on self-care and enable and support behaviour change
  • Discuss fitness for work
  • Refer to Social Prescribing
  • Discuss physical activity and health (eg: smoking cessation and weight management)
  • Refer to a course of treatment (eg: physiotherapy or podiatry)
  • Refer to Orthopaedic, Rheumatology or Pain services
  • Request investigations
  • Refer for medicine's optimisation
  • Administer joint / soft tissue injections (if qualified).

 Inclusion criteria 

  • 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)
  • Post-orthopaedic surgery

Exclusion criteria 

  • Acutely unwell
  • Children under 16
  • Medical management of rheumatoid conditions, women's health, antenatal or postnatal problems.
  • House-bound patients
  • Medication reviews for non-MSK conditions, Neurological / Respiratory conditions
  • Headaches
  • Acute mental health crises
  • Patients who do not want to see an FCP
  • Multi-joint problems
  • Rheumatological problems.
  • Medication / Prescriptions