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Cut out the middle man

Posted on 1st February 2018 by

In a recent survey we carried out of the people attending our clinic, we found their key frustrations when dealing with health care providers wasPhysiotherapy self referral

  1. Having to wait for an appointment
  2. Availability of appointments

Thankfully, there’s a way forward. Self referral. With physiotherapist being the experts in effectively diagnosing and treating a huge range of painful conditions; from back pain to calf tears, post surgical recovery to sports injuries, arthritis to growing pains. For musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, a physiotherapist is your best first point of call. Regulated medical practitioners in their own right, you don’t need to be referred by a middle man – you can refer yourself.

So many people still see their GPs as the ‘gate keepers’ to their care, and in many instances this still holds true. But with MSK injuries, this in’t always the best way. If you have an MSK pain or injury, seeing your GP first will only result in the following:

  1. Waiting time to see your GP, which can be weeks if it’s not urgent
  2. Taking time off work to see your GP during their opening hours
  3. A brief consultation with your GP, who will often recommend resting and/or medication as a first line of action
  4. Possibly referral to an NHS Physiotherapist, which again can be weeks if not months

So, whats the alternative if you’ve got an MSK injury? You can pick up the phone from 8am 6 days a week (until 8pm Monday – Thursday) or hop onto your computer 24/7 and book online to see one of our specialists.

The result

  • You’ll get an appointment to see one of our experts, normally within 24 hours if not the same day
  • You’ll come away with a diagnosis and pro-active treatment plan to resolve your individual injury tailored around your lifestyle
  • You’ll be back doing what you love doing, free from pain, quickly

So, not only does this save you lot’s of angst, worry, waiting and frustration, it significantly helps reduce the burden on the NHS, freeing up their resources to help ‘sick’ people. Your GP does not have to be the ‘middle man’, you can refer yourself directly to physiotherapy.

“GP’s are not hands on when making a diagnosis and lack expertise in different areas – no reflection on GPs, but they are not the experts”

Mrs P, goPhysio Patient, January 2018

 

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goPhysio FAQs: Do I have to see my GP first?

Posted on 26th October 2016 by

Following in our FAQ series, today we address a commonly asked question, do I need to see my GP goPhysio FAQbefore I come to physio? 

The good news is, no, you don’t. You can decide yourself that you’d benefit from physio and just give us a call to make an appointment or book an appointment online.

Having to go to see your GP is a fairly traditional route. More often than not, for a mild to moderate musculoskeletal (MSK) injury, they’ll just advise you rest and take painkillers for 6 weeks anyway. To be referred to NHS physio, you’re likely to still need to see your GP first. However, there is even a move now in GP surgeries to have physiotherapists as the first point of contact for MSK injuries. Given that consultations for MSK conditions make up an estimated 30% of a GP’s caseload, having physiotherapist take over this role is great!

So, if you have a sprain, back pain, sports injury, neck problems, postural issues, muscular or ligament injury – anything affecting your muscles, bones, joints, you can come directly to see us. This saves you precious time and delays in your recovery so you can get back doing what you want to be doing.


Do we need a Dr-Patient ‘culture shift’?

Posted on 22nd September 2016 by

I read with interest this week about a new scheme in Wales where patients are being urged to take more control of decisions about the care and treatments they receive. The scheme, Choosing Wales Wisely, aims for a more equal doctor-patient relationship.

Central to the scheme, are 4 questions that patients should ask when seeing their Dr.

Questions to ask your doctor

Although there are fears that this move may be in an effort to cut costs, I think it’s a great initiative for patients to be inspired to take more responsibility for their own care and also explore alternatives, not just taking a single Doctor’s advice and recommendations as gospel.

The questions that this initiative proposes patients ask are certainly very valid.

If you’re suffering with musculoskeletal (MSK) pain, so issues with joints, muscles and other soft tissues, the all too common advice of take painkillers and rest just isn’t good enough. The majority of our patients at goPhysio are told this when they see their GP. Frustratingly, so many are also told that physio won’t work so don’t recommend it.

Yet, there are so many treatment options that would mean people recover faster and don’t suffer with a repeated cycle of injury. The long term benefits of this is not relying on painkillers, staying in work, being able to keep active and so the consequential health benefits of this…….the list goes on!

So, with patients being inspired to actually ask Dr’s what there options are, it may encourage Dr’s to have a broader and more open view of the valid options.

Another common misconception held by people with MSK problems is that only a scan or X Ray will actually reveal what’s going on and this is often re-enforced in a medical setting. However, research has demonstrated that this isn’t true. Many studies have found there to be changes on X Ray or scans in people with no symptoms at all and visa versa, there to be no symptoms in people with physical changes on imaging.

By patients questioning

Do I really need this?

This could avoid waiting for unnecessary and costly imaging, that actually won’t change the best treatment or management options. More often than not, treatment is the same irrelevant of what a scan or X ray shows.

A very powerful question is

What can I do to help myself?

People who take responsibility for their care are generally more likely to follow a treatment programme. So, rather than be a passive recipient of care or medication and wait for someone to ‘fix’ them, people can be empowered to help themselves.

This is a great move and people really want the right information, to be empowered with some knowledge and be directed to the right sources. There are lot’s of places to look yourself online, but without knowing the validity of the information, you can be afraid that it’s not the right thing to do. So, with a little guidance on this, patients could access relevant resources that may help them manage the problem themselves.

A core part of our management of MSK conditions at goPhysio is enabling and educating patients to help themselves. So tailored advice, an exercise programme and information about their condition. This really is key to a patient’s overall care and recovery.

Read more about the scheme here and there is also a page dedicated to managing back pain, which 8 out of 10 people will suffer with at some point in their lives.