First Contact Practitioners

The First Contact Practitioner (FCP) service has been set up to give patients faster access to specialised assessment and treatment of MSK conditions, leading to lower waiting times and better outcomes.

The team is made up of specialised physiotherapist that work alongside the GPs in GP clinics throughout the area. The aim is for patients who refer to the surgery with an MSK condition, to be seen by one of the FCPs instead of their GP. This has the added benefit of reducing some of the load on the GPs and freeing them up to see more medical problems.

They can be assessed by someone specialising in MSK problems, offered advice, exercise and treatment much earlier than the traditional model of MSK referrals.

The link below has some useful videos offering further explanation of the service.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) First Contact Practitioners | Health Education England (

If you wish to be seen by an FCP then enquire at your GP surgery if the service is available there and simply book in to see them in the same way you would book to see the GP.