To refer a patient simply send us a quick email or ask your patient to book onlinecall to book, or they can book a complimentary phone consultation if they prefer to chat to us before booking.

Escalated care pathway - GP referral information

What is it?

***This is a fully funded rehabilitation pathway***

Careway have partnered with ACC and selected health providers including Auckland Physiotherapy, to deliver a four-year Escalated Care pilot project aimed at testing innovative and integrated new recovery pathways for people with ACC approved knee, shoulder and lower-back injuries. Previous healthcare management of these musculoskeletal conditions has often been fragmented, leading to wasted money and longer waits to reach the most appropriate course of treatment. This new pathway has been developed collaboratively in conjunction with orthopaedic specialists, physiotherapy specialists and ACC, utilising the best available evidence in order to provide the most effective and efficient management for the patient. People will follow an integrated, customised and coordinated plan to move patients smoothly from injury to recovery with everyone working together to provide the right treatment at the right time.

The aim of this pilot is to:

  • reduced risk of re-injury;
  • reduction in unnecessary treatments;
  • improved equity and access for Maori and pacific; and
  • more timely access to surgery and rehabilitation.

Who is involved?

This is a collaborative pathway which includes orthopaedic specialists, sports physicians and physiotherapists. This is a 4 year pilot study and currently only certain select physiotherapy clinics have been chosen to be involved, of which Auckland physiotherapy is one. This is important as referring potentially eligible clients to any physiotherapy practice would not work as they may not be involved in the escalated care pathway at present.

GP practices involvement

As part of your daily practice you are likely to come across patients with relevant knee, shoulder and lumbar spine musculoskeletal conditions who may fill the eligibility criteria to be involved in the escalated care pathway. Therefore, we would ask that if they fulfill the criteria below you signpost them towards Auckland physiotherapy for a phone consultation so we can further screen their eligibility.

Joint specific entry criteria:
Lumbar spine

  • ACC covered lumbar spine injury with approved claim number
  • BMI < 40
  • Leg dominant referred pain rather than low back dominant pain


  • Mechanism of injury/trauma
  • ACC covered knee injury with approved claim number
  • Knee swollen/limping or inability to weight bear normally
  • Likely ligamentous or patella pathology from history and clinical examination, or meniscal pathology that hasn't settled after 4 weeks of physio rehabilitation outside of pathway
  • ACC total knee joint replacements


  • ACC covered shoulder injury with approved claim number
  • Under 65 years old or physiologically young
  • Acute traumatic shoulder pain
  • Pain with resisted cuff testing
  • Can't lift arm to shoulder height

Cervical Spine

  • ACC covered neck injury with approved claim number
  • BMI < 40
  • Arm dominant referred pain

Ankle Injuries

  • ACC covered ankle injury with approved claim number
  • First or recurrent acute ankle sprain 
  • Ottawa rules: x-ray, no fracture, no evidence of moderate to severe OA
  • No diagnostic ultrasound

Off Work

  • We also hold a vocational rehabilitation contract which allows any patient who is off work due to an injury to receive fully funded rehabilitation and return to work support including occupational therapy. 

If you have a patient who you think may be eligible for the esculated care pathway please either email us or ask them to book a complimentary phone call and we will ensure they meet the referral criteria which also includes completion of outcome measures and imaging in some cases, but we will arrange this and will let the patient know if they meet the criteria. If they do not meet the referral criteria for this pathway we can offer standard ACC physiotherapy.

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