First Contact Physiotherapists join PBSGL

First Contact Physiotherapists join PBSGL

First Contact Physiotherapists join PBSGL `25/08/2021

In the last 12 months we’ve been hosting another pilot evaluation of PBSGL and I’d like to tell you more about it. In most areas in Scotland, physios have joined primary healthcare teams, and are consulting with patients without the need for referral from a GP or GP nurse. In this pilot, a large team of First Contact Physiotherapists (FCPs) took part in the PBSGL Scotland programme, forming two separate groups in one large health board. You may know that PBSGL has been used by GPs, GP nurses and pharmacists for many years now and we’ve also had a pilot of mixed groups of hospital doctors and GPs in Scotland. This is the first time that physios have got involved in PBSGL. The team leader of this group of physios approached us, and we trained two facilitators who each formed a group, meeting in person. With the onset of the pandemic, the two groups merged to form a larger one and used video-conferencing to host their meetings.


What did they think of PBSGL? We interviewed ten members from both groups to find out. All liked it. They enjoyed meeting with each other and working through the modules. What surprised us was their need for learning “beyond-MSK”. They wanted to learn about the medical problems they came across at work that were not core MSK symptoms but could represent other illnesses like heart failure. Their patients had changed: they were no longer being triaged by GPs but could come directly to the physio, so they needed to be aware of other conditions that could mimic MSK problems.


In addition, physios liked meeting up with each other. This was particularly useful for those who had left large physio centres in hospital and were the only physio in a remote and rural practice. They did not mind using their own time and venues to do so. Clearly, this changed with the pandemic, but by this point groups had formed and were able to continue.


For the future, some physios were keen to join inter-professional PBSGL groups in the area that they were working in. So, if one approaches your group, please welcome them and include them if you can!