First Contact Practitioner

Job Details

Job summary

Suffolk Primary Care are looking for an experienced First Contact Physiotherapist to join a newly setup virtual practice providing services to 90,000 patients. We offer an exciting opportunity in a great environment for someone who wants to make a real difference to the lives of our patients. This role will primarily focus on initial identification and triage of patients contacting us via an online system – askmyGP.

We are innovative and responsive and we are keen to promote bright new ways of doing. If you are looking for a new challenge or a change of scene and would like to join a friendly, hard-working team then we have the perfect opportunity for you.

We deploy askMyGP and SystemOne and believe in promoting & developing clinical skill-mix. We are looking for role coverage Monday through Friday. Part and full time hours considered.

For an informal discussion on this role please contact Peter Isaacs, Business Director / 07935 067 270. Please note that we will not accept approaches from agencies for this role.

Main duties of the job

As part of a virtual practice you will work alongside patient contact coordinators, pharmacists and GPs to ensure safe and efficient management of cases; this may involve triage to other services or providing assessment, management and advice. You will be an experienced practitioner able to work autonomously.

You will provide expertise and leadership in your role supporting wider multidisciplinary colleagues.

About us

SPC is an innovative partnership of Suffolk GP surgeries.

Doctors and practice staff share resources and work together to ensure patients continue to receive high quality healthcare.

Suffolk Primary Care is committed to a policy of equal opportunities in employment. Applicants will ideally be fully vaccinated against Covid.

Benefits of working for SPC include:

NHS Pension Scheme

The NHS Pension Scheme is a defined benefits scheme

Life insurance

Family benefits including an adult dependents pension and childrens pension

Ill health benefits

20% employer contribution

Electric Car Salary Sacrifice Scheme

No deposit

No credit check

Fully comprehensive insurance

Servicing and tyres

Breakdown cover

Up to £2,000 contribution from SPC subject to conditions

Proper Pay & Cost of Living Benefits

Living Wage Foundation Accredited

GP Remote Working

Eye Care Vouchers Health Service Discounts

Annual Leave – Minimum 33 days including bank holidays FTE with enhancements for long service

Enhanced Maternity & Paternity terms

High street discounts through our own online portal

Technology and Homewares Salary Sacrifice schemes with Currys and John Lewis

Cycle to Work Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Gym Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Job description

Job responsibilities

Suffolk Primary Care (SPC) is at-scale primary care provider in Suffolk that operates a demand-led model. This role will primarily focus on initial identification and triage of patients contacting us via an online system – AskMyGP. This role will be primarily providing a remote service to patients, with an opportunity for face to face clinics, if desired.

Part of a virtual practice you will work alongside patient contact coordinators, pharmacists and GPs to ensure safe and efficient management of cases; this may involve triage to other services or providing assessment, management and advice. You will be an experienced practitioner able to work autonomously.

You will provide expertise and leadership in your role supporting wider multidisciplinary colleagues.

Key Responsibilities

To be the first point of contact for expert clinical triage, assessment and diagnosis of patients presenting with MSK conditions. This will include patients who present with a range of multiple needs and underlying pathologies/other primary conditions. Use of advanced assessment tools and application of expert treatment modalities/techniques will be required.

You will ensure an integrated care pathway for individual patients that meets their needs. This will include provision of triage to other services and/or directly providing management and advice.

Maintain sound relationships with relevant MDT and physiotherapy services in community and acute settings. Where appropriate develop relationships with wider health and social care agencies.

Contribute to the development of MSK pathways across the organisation. This includes contributing to pathways that are not primary MSK pathways, but which have MSK interventions along the pathway.

Responsibilities underpinning the role

To be the first point of clinical contact for patients presenting with MSK conditions or symptoms, providing the patient with the primary triage, sign-posting, assessment, diagnosis and management options for their condition.

An ability to recognise RED flags, serious pathology and potential underlying non MSK related disease, which may present as MSK symptoms and to refer appropriately.

When needed accelerate the patients referral to other health professionals/services.

Use advanced clinical practice skills and clinical reasoning to provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment support to patients who present with complex musculoskeletal conditions and/or multiple pathologies and/or mental health and/or pain management needs.

Independently request diagnostic tests including routine and specialist x-rays, MRI imaging, ultrasound scans and blood and other pathology tests. Interpret the results alongside traditional physiotherapeutic assessment techniques and nonclinical information to aid clinical diagnosis and decisions on potential treatment options/clinical interventions

Carry own caseload as an autonomous practitioner, providing direct clinical/physiotherapeutic care for patients with a range of complex musculoskeletal conditions and who may have significant other primary or secondary conditions/multi-pathologies.

Be able to decide when appropriate to use advanced clinical practice skills that may include:

– Joint/soft tissue injection therapy, including administration of prescription only medication [POM] to aid treatment.

– Joint aspirations

– Non-medical prescribing

Use professional judgement and advanced clinical reasoning skills to make decisions about safe and effective patient care in unpredictable situations, including when there is incomplete/contradictory information

To be able to work autonomously as a lone practitioner.

Be able to demonstrate understanding of the impact of physiotherapeutic interventions on existing conditions and treatment programmes e.g. podiatric treatment, drug therapies, etc. Ensuring physiotherapy interventions are integrated and supportive of the whole treatment aims promoting a holistic approach to condition management.

Be able to clinically justify referral onto appropriate MSK pathways within the community or wider healthcare services. Including referral to the appropriate stage of the pathway and the use of social prescribing

For patients that remain the responsibility of primary care services, take the lead for the management of the patients journey on their care pathway, acting as the link for the patient between primary care and other services/professionals

Be able to justify clinically referrals to other specialist services. This will include referral to acute and specialist services such as surgical orthopaedics, rheumatology and neurology, other AHP services, nursing services and to the primary care medical teams. This requires advanced knowledge of the role of other specialist health professionals

Provide expert advice and act as source of expertise in the management of musculoskeletal conditions and provide a specialist advisory service to patients, specialist physiotherapists other specialist healthcare professionals and members of the primary care team. Including advising GPs on management of MSK conditions.

Provide advice, instruction and teaching on aspects of management of a condition to patients, relatives, carers and other health professionals.

Continually review and develop specialist clinical and diagnostic skills in response to service need.

Be accountable for own decisions and actions via HCPC registration and professional standards.

Review and develop organisational and service policies that support the maintenance of good clinical governance, manage risk and ensure patient safety is paramount.

Be aware of and able to demonstrate of how the FCP role contributes to the achievement of key performance indicators [KPIs] for primary care.

Where service improvement is required in order to achieve standards and KPIs, be a lead contributor to identifying where services need to be changed.

Take forward operational change within our services to deliver improvements in service standards.

Communicate effectively and appropriately with patients and their carers. This will include explaining the pathways and or diagnosis, prognosis and treatment choices available to manage multi-pathology and complex conditions. It will also involve communicating limitations on treatment outcomes and managing expectations of patients with chronic or life limiting conditions.

Input or lead on relevant education and training of others up-to post graduate level to support the development of clinical practice skills and knowledge within the wider workforce.

Person Specification



  • Registered with HCPC



  • Experienced FCP
  • Clinical examination skills
  • Triage, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients with common acute MSK conditions
  • Advanced knowledge of MSK conditions
  • Understanding of different treatments/therapies for MSK pain
  • Participation in education and training of peers
  • Experience of managing own caseload


  • Primary Care experience
  • Understanding of current developments & challenges within Primary Care
  • Management of patients with complex needs
  • Management of frail, elderly patients with co-morbidities
  • Supervision and mentorship
  • Experience of using clinical systems such as SystmOne
  • Experience of using askmyGP

Disclosure and Barring Service Check

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRB) to check for any previous criminal convictions.

UK Registration

Applicants must have current UK professional registration. For further information please see NHS Careers website (opens in a new window).

Employer details

Employer name

Suffolk Primary Care



Violet Hill Road



IP14 1NL

Employer’s website (Opens in a new tab)

Attachment: FCP-JD-V2.pdf