Since the early 1990's, I have been leading work in relation to patient self referral to physiotherapy, working throughout the world. Together with my great friend and colleague Professor Valerie Webster, we have undertaken a range of activities including conducting a national trial of self referral in Scotland between 2002-2005. We have continued to share and gather more evidence to build the case for self referral. In the early days it was difficult to get any support for this research due to the perceived controversial nature of this work, so we ended up undertaking the original trial in our own time. We were very grateful however to the many physiotherapists throughout Scotland who made the trial possible and who had the foresight to also see the need for and potential value of this work.
The results were published between 2006-2008 and can be found in the publications list below. Based on the experience gained during this time, we also published a book sharing our experience and resources to help others prepare for introducing self referral in their own service.
Subsequently, we have worked with many physiotherapy organisations world wide to support them build the case for patient self referral to their services. In 2012 we published work we undertook on behalf of IPPA (International Private Practitioners Association) which involved using data from seven countries worldwide to agree and test out an international dataset that would allow countries worldwide the opportunity to build the evidence base even further.
Pru Galley: the Pioneer
The real pioneer of self referral was Prue Galley who worked tirelessly in Australia and the UK during the 1970s to enhance professional autonomy and allow first point of contact practice within physiotherapy. I was fortunate to be able to meet with Prue on a number of occasions to hear first hand about her pioneering work and in 2012 recorded an interview for all to hear her fascinating story - we have much to thank her for.
Pru Galley Interview Part 1
Pru Galley Interview Part 2