In November 2015, GP Care started working in partnership with One Care Consortium to deliver a pilot Rapid Access Physiotherapy Service across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. As high as one in seven GP appointments is for patients with MSK (muskulo-skeletal) problems. By offering patients with muscle, joints and spine problems a same day telephone assessment with a specialist physiotherapist, the aim of the service was to help alleviate pressures on GP appointments as well as increase patient satisfaction.
Once the patient had spoken with the specialist physiotherapist, he/she would be sent exercise advice by email or post to help treat the problem or invited for a one off face to face follow up consultation.
Since the start of the service we have discharged approximately 3000 patients which has saved the equivalent of over 530 hours of GP appointment time that could be allocated elsewhere. The service has received fantastic feedback from patients:
- “The physio rang me the same day as I was referred by my GP. Very professional, explained my diagnosis clearly. Gave me good advice. Reassured me. Sent me an email with exercises attached, of which I have commenced. I felt that the questions he asked me were adequate in diagnosing my problem. Gave firm advice regarding contacting my GP should my symptoms worsen or remain the same over a couple of weeks. Would thoroughly recommend” BNSSG patient
- “It was reassuring to talk about my problem and to discover that I am doing most of the right things and to be reminded of better options. I shall certainly follow the good advice which was provided so promptly. Thank you.” BNSSG patient
Whilst the service proved to be very convenient for patients and ensured they had rapid access to specialist advice (rather than having to wait up to 12 weeks from GP referral to a physiotherapist appointment) we are sad to say that due to funding no longer being available, the pilot scheme will not be renewed when it comes to an end on 31st March 2017.
GP Care has proven that working in collaboration with others organisations and clinicians can deliver robust, innovative and efficient services. We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to the service Clinical Lead, Dan Griffin and all the fantastic physiotherapists from both the NHS and The Medical for their hard work and passion offering great patient care, to the GP practices across BNSSG who engaged with the service as well as our partners One Care Consortium.