Historically, provision of orthopaedic services has been hospital based with GPs referring patients for specialist opinion. Growing demands on the service have led to new initiatives to reduce waiting times. One such initiative has been the introduction of orthopaedic assistants, usually physiotherapists, working with an extended scope of practice who see patients after referral to secondary care and determine the patients on‐going management. Studies to date have examined the effect of an orthopaedic assistant working alongside a consultant in the hospital environment. This study describes the impact on the management of the orthopaedic caseload in one general practice resulting from “screening” prior to referral to secondary care by a physiotherapist with an extended scope of practice. It demonstrates the successful management of the majority of patients within primary care.
Hattam, P. and Smeatham, A. (1999), "Evaluation of an orthopaedic screening service in primary care", British Journal of Clinical Governance, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 45-49. https://doi.org/10.1108/14664109910306749
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