Residents in North Lincolnshire can now see a physiotherapist rather than a GP at a local surgery if they are seeking an appointment for joint or muscle pain.
Appointments with the new First Contact Physio service are available to book for all patients registered with a North Lincolnshire GP practice by contacting their usual surgery.
Around one-in-five people book in to see their doctor with a musculoskeletal problem, and often have to wait for a GP referral to get access to physiotherapy advice for such conditions.
Early evaluations show that patients are getting much speedier access to specialist assessment and advice which is more efficient for patients and frees up GP time to see patients who need a medical diagnosis.
Patients can choose to attend their appointment in a number of locations across the district, including:
– Winterton Medical Practice, Winterton
– Bridge Street Surgery, Brigg
– Barnetby Medical Centre, Barnetby
– Cedar Medical Practice, Scunthorpe
– West Common Lane Teaching Practice, Scunthorpe
– Ancora Medical Practice, Scunthorpe
– Ashby Turn Primary Care Centre, Scunthorpe
– Cambridge Avenue Medical Centre, Scunthorpe
– Trent View Medical Practice, Scunthorpe
– South Axholme Practice, Epworth
Dr Justin Wilkinson, GP & Director of Safecare Network Ltd, which runs the service in North Lincolnshire, said: ‘This is excellent news for patients in North Lincolnshire as it gives them the opportunity to see the right person at the right time. The expertise of physios in these roles means fewer patients will be left waiting for a referral or unnecessary tests such as x-rays.
‘Each appointment with a physiotherapist will vary significantly depending on what the issue may be – it could be as simple as discussing lifestyle changes and signposting someone to local exercise providers or referring for diagnostics and potential surgery.
‘All of this saves time and money for the NHS but more importantly, it allows people to start the right treatment sooner so that they are able to stay in work or resume their day-to-day activities.’
Dr Faisel Baig, local GP and Chair of NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said: “This is a very positive development for patients in North Lincolnshire. It means that they will have speedier access to physiotherapy services and receive the right care, first time.
“I’d like to thank Safecare for designing and providing this service for our patients.”