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First Contact Practitioner Physiotherapists

Sano Physiotherapy Ltd is an independent provider of First Contact Practitioner Physiotherapists (FCPs) that delivers the highest quality of clinical care with best-in-class practitioner training, supervision and support.

Our highly qualified Physiotherapists are situated in Primary Care settings across the country and supported by an ISO9001 quality certified support structure and delivery assurance model. We are Cyber Essentials certified and meet the requirements of the NHS Digital Toolkit.

We do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach to FCP services and our innovative approach is underpinned by an agile and flexible service delivery model that can be tailored to the needs and demographic of individual Primary Care Networks (PCN).

What is FCP?

According to the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England plan to have a First Contact Physiotherapist in every GP clinic across the country by 2024 to relieve pressure on GPs and assist patients is getting the right care in the right place at the right time.

Patients access their FCP through their GP receptionist. The receptionist identifies if the patient is appropriate for FCP contact and triages the patient to an FCP assessment rather than a GP contact. Local, immediate access to Advance Practice Physiotherapists allows patients to access musculoskeletal (MSK) services directly, without the need for a GP referral or lengthy wait for an outpatient appointment.

Patients with back and joint pain, including conditions such as arthritis, will now be able to contact their local physiotherapist directly, rather than waiting to see a GP or being referred to hospital. Patients can also see a physiotherapist by speaking to the GP practice receptionist or by being referred by their GP.

As regulated MSK practitioners, FCPs work at an Advanced Clinical Practice(ACP) level. This “is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes”. The skills and knowledge required for this role are attained through postgraduate-level MSK learning, which may include independent prescribing skills, injection therapy skills and imaging expertise.

Evidence demonstrating the value of FCP is growing with NHS England’s evaluation of over 25,000 consultations across more than 40 FCP services. Common outcomes include fewer referrals into secondary care, fewer requests for imaging and improved conversion rates to surgery. Following its recent inclusion in the NHS Long Term Plan, more general practices are reaping the benefits of FCP.


Sano deliver a year-round, contingent clinical service and are innovative, adaptable and proactive in their approach.

I highly recommend Sano’s FCP services to other PCNs

Dr. Sab Gogna, Clinical Director

Our Approach

Sano Physiotherapy deliver a completely self-sufficient FCP model that is:

  • Fully self-sufficient and aligned to the role requirements of the PCN DES specification,
  • Flexible to meet the demands and needs of individual PCN’s and their demographic,
  • Data-driven to provide accurate, timely and appropriate reporting to demonstrate the impact our FCP services deliver,
  • Proven to reduce patient bounce-back into GP diaries,
  • Focussed on increasing patient satisfaction and empowerment (our data demonstrates that 89.3% of all patients using our services self-manage with just a single contact),
  • Reducing pressure on secondary/tertiary NHS services.

In line with the HEE roadmap our FCPs are either Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) trained or supervised and mentored in primary care and maintain a compliant portfolio for Key Skills and Attributes compliance.

We offer complete service mobilisation and training for PCN staff on service implementation to maximise outcomes and efficiency.

What Our Data Shows

In 2018/9 Sano delivered a 12-month PCN-wide pilot study involving 1,813 referrals into our FCP service which delivered exceptional clinical outcomes:

  • 89.3% of service users self-managed their MSK condition with a single contact,
  • 98.6% of all service users ‘highly recommended’ our FCP services,
  • Only 9.8% of referrals required ongoing treatment via an MSK pathway/advanced skills

Following this successful pilot, our FCP services have significantly reduced the strain on GP’s and secondary NHS services and empowered patients to self-manage their MSK conditions via rapid access to appropriately skilled practitioners.

Sano’s FCP model is focussed on patient empowerment in just a single contact and a recent audit of their services to 1,823 patients at the Morley and District PCN demonstrated that 87% of patients referred into Sano’s FCP services were able to self-manage their MSK condition in just a single contact, which is 26.4% higher than UK primary care data (taken from Br J Gen Pract 2019; DOI


… mobilisation was an extremely smooth process and Sano’s team have been brilliant. They have adapted their offering to suit our vision and nothing is too much trouble.

Dawn Beadle, PCN Manager

Why Should Your PCN Use A First Contact Practitioner?


Sano Physiotherapy Ltd is an Associate Member of Agencia’s Primary Care Direct service which offers everything in one place to transform, grow and develop your primary care organisation.

For further information please visit www.primarycaredirect.co.uk

Contact Us To Discuss Your PCN’s Requirements

If you think your PCN could benefit from our FCP services please call or email:

0800 151 2601
fcpservices@sanophysiotherapy.com

Please feel free to download the following 1 page info sheet to take away: