For healthcare professionals only

Research Article

Making physiotherapy more accessible: open access for general practitioners to a physiotherapy department.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 17 April 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1173
  1. R Ellman,
  2. S M Adams,
  3. J A Reardon,
  4. I H Curwen


    Open access to a physiotherapy outpatient department of a district general hospital was offered to general practitioners to whom domiciliary physiotherapy was already available. The effects of the new service have been monitored. Delays are reduced and consultants economise on time spent in merely confirming need for physiotherapy. Policies determining treatment, placing emphasis on prevention and self-help rather than prolonged treatment, are adhered to equally well by physiotherapists whether patients are referred directly or indirectly. It had proved unnecessary to restrict access to physiotherapy by insisting that general practitioners refer all patients first to consultant clinics. General practitioners have been sufficiently selective in referral and physiotherapists sufficiently economical in selecting treatment and determining its duration for the service to remain within the limits of available resources.