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First Contact Practitioner

Role Overview

A First Contact Practitioner (FCP) is a diagnostic clinician working in Primary Care at the top of their clinical scope of practice at Agenda for Change Band 7 or equivalent and above. This allows the FCP to be able to assess and manage undifferentiated and undiagnosed MSK presentations.
An MSK First contact Practitioner will provide Assessment, Diagnosis and Management of MSK conditions in primary care as a first contact for that patient.
They can refer on to the local MSK pathway, this may be for further physiotherapy, orthopaedic services, pain management, consideration of injection or falls prevention.
FCPs refer patients to GPs for the medical management of a patient with non MSK presentations and pharmacology outside their agreed scope of practice


Career Pathway

Physiotherapy degree → 3 years postgraduate learning in practice (minimum of 3 years) → Primary Care training for first contact roles, portfolio routes (minimum of 4-6 months via portfolio routes, theory, stage 1, verified prior to entry into PC, Stage 2 completed in primary care) and taught HEI models (taught FCP HEI level 7 module) → MSK First contact Practitioner in Primary Care → Continuation to advanced practice (Stage 3 HHE roadmap)


Training Hub Offers

  • Support to get FCP’s in every GP practice in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
  • Provide peer support to the FCP’s within Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin.
  • Facilitate FCP’s becoming part of the new Health Education England FCP register
  • Support FCP’s to progress within their career and into advanced practice
  • The FCP Facilitator to act as an ambassador for the FCP role
  • Advice and delivery of supervision and CPD/specific training for all FCP’s in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
  • Support to PCN’s recruiting FCP’s
  • A STW FCP Forums and peer support network groups
  • Networking throughout our local area and beyond with Higher Education Institutes and other training hubs throughout the country
  • Support to PCN’s and system partners to grow the role of the MSK FCP
  • To work with future FCP workforce to allow progression from physiotherapist to FCP


Useful Documents

FCP Road Map to Practice First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Musculoskeletal) A Roadmap to PracticeFirst Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Musculoskeletal) A Roadmap to Practice (


Useful Links

CSP FCP resources First Contact Physiotherapy | The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (

UCLAN Level 7 HEI FCP module AHP First Contact Practice in Primary Care, Short Course - UCLan


Useful Contacts

FCP Facilitator – Natalie Heighway This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact us

If you’d like more information or to speak to someone from our Training Hub team, visit our contact us page or email.