First Contact Practitioners

First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) are diagnostic clinicians qualified to master’s level who work to support GPs as part of an integrated team.

Advanced Practitioners (APs) are also clinicians qualified to master’s level, but with a higher level of expertise working across all the whole scope of advanced practice.

FCPs and APs come from a number of Allied Health Professions. They are highly-skilled in their own area of expertise are trained to consider a person’s total health needs and to work with a multi-profession team. This benefits both care and outcome for patients through improved critical thinking and decision-making, and better teamwork.

Allied Health Professions (AHPs)

The Allied Health Professions (AHPs) comprise of 14 distinct occupations including:

  • Art therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Drama therapists
  • Music therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Operating department practitioners
  • Orthoptists
  • Osteopaths
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Prosthetists and Orthotists
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers
  • Speech and language therapists

University courses for FCPs

There are a number of University courses designed to support Allied Health Professionals across Greater Manchester to work as autonomous FCPs in primary care.

Salford University

@SalfordUni‘s multi-professional module is designed to support suitably qualified and experienced Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) who wish to work as autonomous First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) within primary care.

The module is designed to include stage 1 and stage 2 of the required elements, consistent with Health Education England ‘roadmaps to practice’ which outline the skills and attributes needed for AHPs to become FCPs in primary care.

Completion of the module will support AHPs to be recognised by Health Education England’s Centre for Advancing Practice by being placed on a FCP directory.

For more information visit or contact Louise Henstock,, 01612956968.

Sign up for June 2021 enrolment 👉

Course details

The learning module will cover:

  • The role of the FCP in primary care, person centred care and advanced communication skills, consultation skills and systems in a primary care environment and primary care pathways.
  • Recognition, appropriate screening and management of the acutely unwell/ seriously ill patient, undifferentiated / undiagnosed long-term conditions, systemic conditions and frailty.
  • Signposting, risk assessment and safety netting.
  • Identification of mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety, addictive behaviours and substance abuse, dealing with suicidal ideation and dementia.
  • Introduction to medicine prescribing, side effects and contraindications, medicines management, advice, supply and administration, medicine optimisation.
  • Public health and social prescribing, work adaptation, fit note and empowering early return to work.
  • Persistent pain, pain centralisation, pain communication and behaviour change.
  • Safeguarding, legal frameworks and documentation – coping with uncertainty.
  • Practitioner resilience, health and well-being.
  • Complex decision making and clinical reasoning.
  • Outcome measure and clinical audit, service evaluation and redesign.

Manchester Metropolitan University

@ManMetUni‘s multi-professional module will enable learners to develop the skills to work in a First Contact Practitioner role within primary care. Learners will develop understanding of the structure and organisation of primary care, effective consultation skills, and the ability to deliver safe and effective personalised care in a multi-professional and organisational context. 

This course is intended for Allied Health Professionals in or going into First Contact Practitioner roles in primary care.

For more information visit or contact Victoria Lack,, 01612476969.

Sign up for June 2021 enrolment 👉

Course details

The content of the unit will be contemporary, responsive to current policy and practice developments and is in line with Health Education England (HEE) requirements for First Contact Practitioners in Primary Care. The content will include: structure and organisation of primary care, communication and consultation skills, personalised care, social prescribing, public health approaches and applying ‘All Our Health’ in practice, mental health and multi-professional team working and leadership, working across organisations, ethical issues, quality assurance and patient safety, risk management, medicines optimisation, quality improvement and evidence based practice in primary care.

This unit needs to be successfully completed before commencing the First Contact Practitioner Primary Care Practice Portfolio Unit, which is a 10 credit practice credit unit.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit students will:

  • Develop a systematic understanding into the structure and organisation of primary care services and integrated care systems.
  • Critically analyse their communication and consultation skills in the context of primary care
  • Critically explore the nature of effective personalised care, including social prescribing.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding into public health approaches, including safeguarding vulnerable groups.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the risks associated with complex case management in primary care


Six sessions

Entry requirements

Registered HCPC Allied Health Professions, three years post-registration


Presentation and discussion