Physios in GP clinics curb unnecessary consults

A UK trial has been so successful at freeing up GP and hospital appointments, it's being expanded

Placing physiotherapists in general practices to manage back pain cases frees up hundreds of GP appointments, according to results from a successful UK pilot program.

During the trial, tens of thousands of patients could self-refer to a practice-based physiotherapist for musculoskeletal pain rather than going to see a GP for a referral for hospital-based treatment.

The program will now be rolled out more widely after an evaluation has revealed the pilot, which began in March 2017, resulted in a 4% drop in GP referrals for surgery and other treatments, National Health Service England has announced.

In one practice, the addition of a practice physiotherapist freed up 560 GP appointments over one year.

In another region, there was a 20% reduction in hospital referrals, ending a five-year history of an annual 12% increase in referrals, the pilot reported.

“Six out of 10