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NHS Western Isles is delighted to announce the introduction of the new First Contact Physiotherapy Service in Barra, which was launched this week.

This means patients presenting to a GP practice with a Musculoskeletal (MSK) condition e.g.  soft tissue, muscle and joint pain, may be assessed by a highly skilled physiotherapist without seeing a GP first.  This will improve the patient journey by accelerating their MSK assessment, treatment plan and if appropriate, referrals for further investigation.     

The service, which will be offered initially by telephone, is run by physiotherapist Alana MacPhee, who is based in Uist. 

The First Contact Physiotherapist will:    

  • assess you and diagnose what’s happening
  • give expert advice on how best to manage your condition   
  • recommend exercises and other approaches to deal with the issue   
  • refer you on to a specialist service, if necessary.   

It should be noted that the First Contact Physiotherapy Service is not the same as the self-referral/direct access to the local Physiotherapy service.  The current arrangements for self-referral to the local Physiotherapy service and standard NHS Physiotherapy service provision will remain the same.     

Anyone living on Barra who think they may benefit from this service should contact Barra Medical Practice to request an appointment in the first instance.   Practice staff may ask for further information to ensure that the service is right for you.    

Please note:  Patients who have already been referred to the Physiotherapy service and are awaiting an appointment, or who are being seen by a physiotherapist, should not request an appointment with the First Contact Practitioner.