As an NHS-owned digital health company supplying a range of digital solutions for physiotherapy, including an MSK self-referral pathway, we agree with Starmer and believe the benefit to patients and the NHS could be tremendous.

Last weekend, labour leader Keir Starmer spoke about the NHS’s need for serious reform to ensure its survival. Talking about some of the changes needed, he questioned- ‘Why can’t people with persistent back problems self-refer to physio?’ Well, with Health Call’s MSK self-referral tool, they actually can.


Our digital solution enables patients to self-refer to access support for muscle, joint, soft tissue conditions and chronic pain directly from a Trust’s website without seeing a GP. This solution supports fast access to self-care advice, expert opinion, diagnosis and treatment for various conditions.


The solution is all about helping services to create a better patient experience by supporting people to receive the right care in the right place first time.


We have provided this technology to physiotherapy services and NHS Trusts for some time, and as Starmer alludes, its ability to release pressure from NHS services is evident. For example, one trust using the solution saw 2200 self-referrals in one month; that’s 2200 fewer GP appointments.


As well as its ability to reduce GP appointments and speed up care, there are also the added benefits of more informed triage and clinical time saved due to better quality data.


Like all our digital solutions, our MSK Self Referral was co-designed alongside the NHS Clinical professionals who recognised its need. It has since spread to trusts such as County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, and we hoped to share the learning with many more. If this self-referrals tool was made available to patients nationally, there is a massive potential for what it could achieve and save for our NHS.


You can find out more about MSK self-referral here. If you want to learn more about our digital solutions or arrange a demo, please get in touch with [email protected] for more information.