New triage service for muscle and joint pains - and this is what it means for patients

PEOPLE suffering with muscle and joint-related pains can now get direct access to a new service available across the city.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 4:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 6:42 pm
Rehabilitation physiotherapy.

Following a successful trial, the First Contact Physio service is now available in all GP surgeries in Portsmouth.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms are one of the most common reasons for repeat consultations but now when a patient contacts a surgery through this, they are offered a same-day session with a physiotherapist to receive advice or treatment.

Theresa Costello, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Solent NHS Trust, said: ‘We are very pleased to be rolling out this service. Many of the patients we help just need support and guidance, from the right clinician, on what they can do to help alleviate or manage their symptoms.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

‘This can be done quickly and effectively through our telephone triage consultation without any further appointments being required.’

Last year, the service helped to free up 2,940 urgent GP appointments across Portsmouth and has received positive feedback from patients.

One service user commented: ‘I think this is an excellent service, the person I spoke to was very professional. They took the time to explain my symptoms and gave me exercises to help my condition.’

Another patient added: ‘I was very surprised at how quick it was. The physiotherapist was able to arrange an appointment for me and the person I saw was fantastic. They helped me so much that I haven’t had to go back.’

Dr John Thornton, from Kirklands Surgery in Portsmouth, said: ‘It is a highly efficient system that gets patients help in a timely fashion from experts in their field and as a bonus frees us up as GPs to help those who need our other skills.’

The new triage service is running in surgeries across the city Monday to Friday 8am to 12pm.

Dr Linda Collie, GP and Chief Clinical Officer at Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group added: ‘We know we need to change how health services operate in the city and this is one of the ways we are trying to improve out of hospital care for our residents.’