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Why self-referral is the future of physio

Physiotherapy is known to be an extremely effective method of treating a range of conditions: from back and neck pain to cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. Advanced physiotherapists are qualified to prescribe and carry out treatment, and are regulated medical practitioners in their own right: for musculoskeletal conditions, physiotherapists are better qualified to suggest and deliver treatment than GP’s.

So why do so many patients wait for their GP to refer them to a physiotherapist before they head there themselves? Self-referral actually enables patients to hold more autonomy over their treatment and get greater satisfaction out of it, as seeking treatment becomes the patient’s choice rather than a specialist’s recommendation. It is therefore more likely to be effective, and can result in less appointments being needed overall.

Not only this, but self-referral to a physiotherapist significantly reduces a GP’s workload, thereby saving the health service money. Self-referral to physiotherapy is 25% cheaper to the NHS than GP referral, and an hour with a physiotherapist is over 50% cheaper than an hour with a GP. For conditions which are almost certainly physical – when patients know that the outcome of a GP appointment will most likely be referral to physio – they would do well to cut out the middle man and book themselves an appointment with a physiotherapy clinic directly.

Not only does this save GP’s time and money, it also means that patients could arrange to meet physios at a time that suits them, resulting in fewer missed appointments. Did Not Attends waste valuable GP, physiotherapy and patient time, and this could easily be avoided with self-made and self-directed appointments.

With all of this time freed up, both GP’s and physiotherapists will be able to act far more responsively to emergencies, and give more time and attention to those patients that do attend. This makes for a far more efficient and productive system, resulting in happier practitioners, happier patients, and a higher quality of care.

So next time you are suffering from an injury, ache or pain, go directly to your physio rather than taking the usual GP route. It saves you valuable time, as well as freeing up space at the GP surgery. The benefits of physiotherapy are extensive: book an appointment at our clinic in Hertfordshire and see for yourself.