Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Evaluation of the efficacy and acceptability to patients of a physiotherapist working in a health centre.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 03 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:24
  1. G I Hackett,
  2. M F Hudson,
  3. J B Wylie,
  4. A D Jackson,
  5. K M Small,
  6. P Harrison,
  7. J O'Brien,
  8. P Harrison


    The records of the first 805 patients who had been referred by general practitioners at this health centre to the attached physiotherapist were examined in November 1985, three years after the physiotherapy department was opened. Seventy per cent (549) of the patients had been treated within one week, treatment having started on the same day for 8.5% (67) of the patients. This compares with a mean of six weeks for direct access to a district general hospital that is eight miles away and between six and 13 months for the three nearest orthopaedic consultants who are 13 miles away. The most common conditions treated were knee injuries (16.5%), followed by cervical (15.5%) and shoulder (13.8%) injuries. Surprisingly, only 9% were back injuries. The non-attendance rate was 2.2% and only 7% of patients failed to complete treatment. Nearly all the patients were able to attend the clinic, only 4% requiring home treatment. By March 1986, 90 treatments a week were being carried out at a cost of 6.11 pounds per patient. Compared with official hospital figures, this represents a savings of 21,500 pounds a year for a practice of 12,000 patients.