Intended for healthcare professionals


Self referral to physiotherapy for back pain reduces pressure on GP appointments

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 25 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l870
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London, UK

Allowing patients with back pain, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions to self refer to physiotherapists based in GP practices cut the proportion needing a GP consultation for back pain and those needing hospital care, pilots by NHS England have shown.

The approach was tested in 41 areas of England and reduced the proportion of patients needing a GP appointment for back pain to as few as 2%.

Patients who self referred to a first …

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