Case studies

Physiotherapy case studies promote physiotherapy as an innovative and cost effective approach to improving patient pathways and promoting public health.

We welcome examples from all aspects of physiotherapy practice, research, education, and service delivery. Initiatives need to have been operational for more than 12 months to be included.

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GP MSK Pilot

A pilot for direct access to Physiotherapy was initiated in December 2015 after agreeing the needs and specification of the service with Darlington CCG

Physiotherapy First; Direct Access Physiotherapy Service

In West Cheshire, 36 GP practices host a physiotherapy service providing first contact by a MSK physiotherapist for any patient with a suspected MSK condition.

The initial three month pilot saw 754 patients, discharging over 50% with advice and exercises. One third were referred on for physiotherapy intervention and only 3% were referred for specialist assessment.

The service received a 99% feedback of good or excellent and freed up the GPs while saving money.

Hampshire MSK first point of contact

At the Arnewood Practice and Milton Medical Centre in Hampshire, any patient who presents to the signed-up GP practice with MSK pain will be referred to physiotherapy as the first point of contact.

The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS)

The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS) in West Glamorgan, provides a first contact service for patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. It offers more effective management of MSK patients, with the view to streamlining patients referred into secondary care from primary care, and to reducing consultant waiting times for surgery.

The service has increased the orthopaedic conversion rate from 15% to over 80% and has decreased the wait for appointment for urgent cases from 6 weeks to 2 weeks. T

Clinical Musculoskeletal Assessment and Treatment Service (CMATS)

This new and exciting initiative, based in North West Wales, explores the effectiveness of Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners (APP) in clinically assessing patients with musculoskeletal problems as an alternative to the General Practitioner in primary care. 

The pilot saw 84% of their patients successfully managed within primary care by the APP and demonstrated potential cost savings.

The Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Walk in Clinic

The Walk in Clinic (WIC) is a self-referral clinic for patients in South Wales. It provides an alternative to a GP appointment for adults with a musculo-skeletal problem for assessment, advice and suitability for physiotherapy.

The service provides a cost-effective rapid access to physiotherapy expertise, producing high satisfaction responses from patients and GPs. For those only requiring a single advisory session, the service has reduced the wait to consult with an MSK physiotherapist from 10 days (urgent) and 10 weeks (routine) to same-day attendance.

Musculoskeletal Practitioner – a new role in Primary Care

A service improvement in Cumbria where the service provides direct access to a specialist MSK physiotherapist for assessment, investigations as appropriate, injection if indicated and triage into secondary care/ allied health professions where needed.

The pilot saved nearly 600 GP appointments and cost savings from reduction in investigations, such as MRI.