The First Contact Physiotherapy service will continue to support practices and networks during the coming weeks and months. Given the current pandemic we have had to changed our working practice in order to support practices whilst ensuring that non-essential travel is prevented. No changes to clinics are required with any patients reporting MSK symptoms being booked in for a telephone assessment. There are very specific pathways highlighted to ensure only essential physical examinations are performed. We continue to monitor our service to offer as much assistance to general practice as we can at this time as well as to identify any further changes that may be necessary.
We have developed a remote consultation policy to allow telephone triage from the surgery rather than seeing face-to-face consultations. This will be available to current contracted practices and networks.
As practices continue to reduce face-to-face contact we are aware of the disruption to the first contact physiotherapy service. We are preparing to provide a telephone triage service so that MSK demand can continue to be met remotely. The new service will look to provide assessment and triage via a phonecall with appropriate advice and self-management in the same format as current clinics. In the absence of being able to demonstrate patient exercise they can be sent or emailed the relevant information in order to support their ongoing management. We are aware that phone triage may increase the risk that can be mitigated by face-to-face examination. Subsequently we are currently working hard on developing appropriate protocols to mitigate these risks, including exploring the use of video conferencing, gathering appropriate patient facing information and finding solutions to the difficulties of remote work. We will let you know as soon as we are ready to implement the new service.