STRUCTURE: Physiotherapy patients in mid Surrey are now benefiting from telephone triage within 48 hours of GP referral, according to the county’s main community social enterprise.

Central Surrey Health has become one of a handful of providers nationally to introduce telephone triage for physio patients.

Since 2 April patients have been assessed over the phone by a senior physiotherapist within 48 hours of going to their GP.

They are sent advice and exercise sheets relevant to their condition, and the most appropriate treatment agreed with them, for example one-to-one treatment or self management.

The rollout of the service follows a 12 month pilot with GPs.

Feedback revealed that patients welcomed early contact from a physiotherapist as well as being able to start exercises at home while waiting for treatment.

Sarah Runton, clinical manager for musculoskeletal pathways at Central Surrey Health, said: “Because patients are able to start exercises within days of GP referral, we’ve found they require fewer follow up treatments and shorter assessment times – so good for patients and good for Central Surrey Health, which can then see more patients.”

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