All About ECP

ECP stands for Escalated Care Pathway. This is an exciting new collaborative project provided by ACC aimed at supporting New Zealanders with knee, shoulder and lower-back injuries. PHYSIOSOUTH is proud to be one of the key providers of ECP for knee injuries.

The goal of ECP is simple: to help with smoother, simpler, and faster recovery from ACC injuries with a more patient-centered focus.


  • Provide better access to care with more financial support
  • Improve patient experience, shorten wait times and less contact with ACC
  • Ensure every patient is on the best-suited pathway for them
  • Use only the best quality evidence-based approaches to treatment
  • Decrease re-injury and re-operation rates

The ECP team includes: Physiotherapists, Surgeons, Sports Doctors and Occupational Therapists. This multidisciplinary team is responsible for assessing and developing an individualized patient-centered plan. The ECP team supports patients with a package of services that best meets their needs, whether surgical or non-surgical. If accepted onto the pathway, services are fully subsidized by ACC and as such there is no direct cost to the patient!

The ECP pathway for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) as well as Patella Dislocations (PD) injuries have started in Christchurch and there is a staged roll-out to other parts of New Zealand. Over time ECP will expand to include multi-ligament trauma (MLT) and knee osteoarthritis (OA).


We are very humbled that our own Graeme Nuttridge had a major role in initiating this process. Graeme was a true leader and visionary with regards to injury prevention and treatment. He established a PHYSIOSOUTH knee clinic with Mr. Andrew Vincent and through this collaborative approach they realized the numerous benefits for the patient of working in a TEAM.

  • Graeme and Andrew were keen to reduce the patent’s barriers to access good quality rehabilitation. They both realized the importance of comprehensive rehabilitation to achieve a good surgical outcome.
  • They collaborated on a pilot study to assess the effects of rolling out a Preventive Exercise Programme (PEP) at reducing significant knee injuries. The results were impressive and contributed to the current knee ECP programme!


How do I know if I am Eligible??

There are some criteria to qualify for ECP.

To be eligible you must also be a New Zealand Resident and must be at least 13 years of age or older.

If you meet the basic criteria, your Physiotherapist or GP will send a referral letter to a Sports Physician on the ECP team. The Sports Physician will do a thorough assessment and if you qualify to enter the programme, you will be allocated to either a ‘Surgical’ or ‘Non-Surgical’ ACL pathway.

At PHYSIOSOUTH, we will discuss this with you in depth during the initial appointment and support you in answering any questions you may have.


What to expect if you have been referred to us under an ECP Pathway

We are excited to begin this journey with you! We understand that being injured isn’t easy, especially when it takes you away from the activities you love most. However, we know from experience that this program only works if you are committed and ready to work for your results.

Our highly skilled team of physiotherapists will support you with the following:

  • Education on your ECP service ‘bundle’ and what services you can access including gym facilities
  • Individualized goal-setting to ensure your recovery experience is meaningful to YOU
  • Physiotherapy techniques to improve function of your knee including: manual therapy, soft tissue massage, exercise prescription, hydrotherapy etc.
  • Working together with your vocational provider to ensure your return to work plans align with YOUR recovery

As mentioned previously, as a client you can expect professional care from the PHYSIOSOUTH team. We want you to exceed the pre-surgical milestones so that you will be stronger and fitter at the time of your surgery, reducing your recovery time. With the support and guidance of the ECP pathway, your physio will carefully construct a program that will keep you and your surgeon happy and get you back to enjoying all that life offers.

ECP is an innovative and collaborative ACC project exploring new ways to improve YOUR rehab outcomes. It strives to offer a patient-centered approach that will give New Zealanders access to the right treatment at the right time. This aligns with our company values of ‘REPAIR-PERFORM-THRIVE’ and our team at PHYSIOSOUTH are very proud to be providers of this service.

For more information regarding ACC ECP pathways, ask your Physiotherapist at one of our PHYSIOSOUTH clinics, or GP or check the ACC website for up-to-date information.

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