FIRST Contact Physiotherapists, based in local GP practices can now prescribe medication.
Donal Ferris, based in Clanrye Medical and Clanrye Surgery Practices, Gemma O’Donnell, from Dr McNiff & Partners Practice and Martin O’Hanlon who works at Meadowlands and Clanrye Surgery Practices, have qualified as Independent and Supplementary Prescribers through Ulster University.
A total of six First Contact Physiotherapy Practitioners are based in GP practices in Newry and District Federation through the new Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Teams initiative. The rest of the Physiotherapists within the team are currently undertaking their prescribing training.
Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Teams is a partnership between Newry and District GP Federation and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Participating practices have appointed First Contact Physiotherapy Practitioners, Mental Health Practitioners and Social Worker Practitioners to give patients quicker access to the most suitable care, while freeing up GP time to help more complex medical cases.
Consultant Physiotherapist for the Multidisciplinary Team Denise Hall says:
“By having a range of professionals based in GP practices, we aim to complement our medical and nursing colleagues and promote physical, mental and social wellbeing throughout local communities.
“With around one third of GP appointments relating to Musculoskeletetal Conditions, there are significant benefits for Patients of Physiotherapists working closely with Primary Care colleagues.
“As a first contact for patients, our team are able to manage musculoskeletal problems like back, neck, joint pain, or soft tissue injuries. They can assess, provide diagnosis, advise on management, offer injection therapy, order investigations and refer on to hospital services if needed.
“The additional qualification in prescribing to this skill mix is a welcome boost to the service, helping to manage complex conditions for patients, saving time for everyone and avoiding unnecessary waits for a prescription.”
Patients from participating practices can book an appointment directly with the First Contact Physiotherapy Service via GP Reception.
First Contact Physiotherapy Service is available in:
Clanrye Surgery, Newry
Meadowlands Surgery, Newry
Summer Hill Surgery, Warrenpoint
Dr McNiff & Partners, Banbridge
Clanryre Medical Practice, Newry
Dr McCandless & Partners Banbridge
Old Forge Surgery, Annalong