The end of the GP referral?

There’s loads of decent general advice on the web if you want to understand your injury. As a result, there is an increasing proportion of the population who feel able to manage their own injury. So what added value can a GP give?

Couple with this the fact that self referral is becoming a real choice for patients, it raises the question “Where does the GP referral fit into the equation?”.

When you can do your basic research on the web then go straight to the expert to get physio treatment, is there any need for the GP? 88% of people with back pain, sports injury or other musculoskeletal condition would refer themselves to a physio if they had the opportunity.

Now, GP’s are notoriously conservative when it comes to change, but with a budget to manage nowadays, seeking to cut themselves out of the equation for many of their patients needing a physio would seem like an effective way to save cost & free up time to concentrate on more pressing matters.

In fact 25% of GP consultations are for musculoskeletal conditions with the GP simply acting as a gatekeeper. The GP costs over £100ph plus around £25 per consultation whilst the physio costs a relatively modest £35-40ph.

Research shows how direct access for patients with musculoskeletal conditions could save a five-person GP practice one month of consulting time each year.

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