Overview of the role

First Contact Practitioners (FCP) are qualified autonomous clinical practitioners who can assess, diagnose, treat, and manage musculoskeletal (MSK) problems and undifferentiated conditions – where appropriate – discharge a person without a medical referral. FCPs working in this role can be accessed directly by self-referral or staff in GP practices can direct patients to them to establish a rapid and accurate diagnosis and management plan to streamline pathways of care.

First Contact Physios will develop integrated and tailored care programmes in partnership with patients and support patients to develop self-management skills and confidence to manage their condition. First Contact Physios can play a crucial role in creating stronger links with wider MSK services through clinical leadership, teaching and evaluation skills. They are expected to keep up to date and engage with national initiatives and lead this locally working with secondary care counterparts.


Example tasks that role is trained to deliver:

  • Full MSK assessment
  • Clinical Teaching and Research/Audit
  • Diet and lifestyle advice
  • Hospital referrals
  • Health Promotion
  • Application of steri strips



From April 2020, this role will be reimbursed at 100% on the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme for PCNs.



  • A physiotherapy degree (BSc) is required to work as a physiotherapist in any setting.
  • For band 7 roles HEE Primary care FCP capability training must be completed as the minimum threshold for entry to primary care and be supported by appropriate governance and indemnity.
  • HEE primary care FCP training can begin 3-5 years post graduate
  • For band 8a roles the HEE FC primary care training must be completed, and they must be working at an advanced level of practice i.e. at masters level (level 7) across all four pillars of advanced practice.

Further Information:

Click the link to find out more about the role, including job descriptions, case studies and more: e-LfH First Contact Physiotherapists


Find out more about First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care (Musculoskeletal) on the HEE website: