Introducing Osteopaths to Primary Care: The Role of the First Contact Practitioner

First oF project reaches a successful conclusion

The First Contact Practitioner (FCP) project has just published its results, with excellent implications for the future of osteopaths in the FCP role.


The project, founded and run by osteopath Tim Allardyce in collaboration with Surrey & Hants MSK Collaborative (SHMC), involved an osteopathic team led by Luke Woodward and including Jonathan Grice, Elizabeth Kane and Jeremy Burton.

Tim Allardyce said of this pilot project: “The oF funded First Contact Practitioner pilot has demonstrated to the NHS and Health Education England that osteopaths are able to provide FCP services in primary care in the same way that physiotherapists can.

“For many years there has been some concern from GPs, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the NHS as a whole about the regulation, training and role of osteopaths, and there has been a need to provide evidence that what we do works.

“The FCP Osteopath pilot proves that osteopaths can be first contact practitioners, seeing patients in a primary care setting. The feedback from practice managers and patients has been excellent. The osteopathic team have helped several hundred patients be seen quickly, getting the right advice, first time. These frontline osteopaths should be proud to have supported patients, GP practices and the NHS through COVID.”

Halo Garrity, oF Project Manager says of this initiative:

“The FCP project managed to run a very successful programme including continuing to run during Covid-19 lockdown. They had up to four osteopaths available throughout, so there was always an osteopath available. The results of the pilot are fantastic.”

Halo continued, “This is the first oF funded project that has reached a successful conclusion. We hope that this report on its findings will influence future policy and decision making around creating more opportunities for osteopaths.”

You can hear directly from the osteopaths involved in the FCP pilot in our next edition of Osteopathy Today.

To read the full report visit the Research and Report hub.

For further updates and information surrounding the Osteopathic Foundation activity click here.