Complaints from the public currently result in prosecution by the statutory regulator, the Health Professions Council, and the professional body, the CSP.
Physiotherapists are the only health professionals subject to this dual prosecution, which adds substantially to the pressure on the individual physiotherapists and to the CSP’s costs in both prosecuting and defending.
This article, following its original publication in Frontline (7 June), gives formal notice under article 20 of the CSP royal charter of the ‘intention to amend’ the bye-laws.
The amendments have to be debated twice by Council, in June and September. Following a two-thirds majority vote in the first Council meeting a simple majority vote is needed in the second. Amendments then go to members to consider at the annual general meeting, which takes place at Congress in October. If there is a vote in favour, the amendments go on to the Privy Council for final approval.
The opportunity has also been taken to renumber the bye-laws to make them more accessible.
Following a review of the Society’s bye-laws, Council will also be asked to consider a number of other amendments when it meets this month.
It should be noted the Society currently has no list members. However this category has been retained should it be needed in future, though there are no plans for this.
1- If approved, the Society will no longer prosecute any physiotherapist where the conduct complained of comes within the jurisdiction of the HPC.
It will, however, continue to discipline associate, student and list members, as they are not regulated by the HPC. The
Society will then concentrate on defending physiotherapists who are prosecuted by the HPC.
2 - For any members subject to CSP disciplinary proceedings, there will be a longer period of notice of the professional conduct committee before which they will be required to appear.
3 - If a member is the subject of censure, sanction or erasure by the HPC, those findings will be given immediate effect in the Society’s register.
4 - There will be five categories of membership: fellows, members, associates, students and list members.
5 - The role of the HPC will be acknowledged in legally protecting the title of ‘physiotherapist’ and ‘physical therapist’. It is the CSP’s role to legally protect the title ‘chartered physiotherapist’ under the royal charter.
6 - There will need to be a committee regulating both admission to membership and conduct, and the preliminary committee of the CSP regulatory board will be re-named the preliminary and membership committee.
7 - The burdens carried by the members of the Society’s committees will be recognised by reducing the number required to sit on the preliminary and membership, professional conduct, and appeals committees.
8 - Terminology in the bye-laws used to refer to physiotherapists with a disability will be updated, and the notice period required for the AGM will be shortened.
9 - The Society will also be permitted to communicate with the membership through print and electronically, and there will be other minor renumbering, rewording or updating provisions.
The full text of the bye-law changes is at www.csp.org.uk