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Pitfalls of non-registration

Two sports physios who have had unrelated claims of malpractice brought against them have been found to be practising without HPC registration, making their CSP membership and public liability insurance cover invalid.

On reporting the malpractice claims to the CSP, both physios said they didn’t realise they had to be HPC registered to be covered by PLI. The law changed in 2000 with the creation of the Health Professions Council.  It is now illegal for any UK physiotherapist to practice without being registered. Natalie Beswetherick, director of practice and development at the CSP, said: ‘If the cases were pursued, the physios may be at risk of massive damages. ‘Although a sports physio employed by a club may be protected by its own insurance cover, a self-employed sports physio would be liable for all costs, putting their personal assets and livelihood at huge risk.’ Bill Hulse, insurance broker for the CSP, said: ‘We want to help all members when they are faced with a complaint of malpractice brought against them.  ‘But while we are trying to offer legal advice in both these cases, we can offer no financial help whatsoever.’ ‘Every single member of the CSP, whether they are in professional sports or self employed or in any field of physiotherapy, must be registered with the HPC before they treat patients; it’s essential,’ Bill Hulse said. Bill Hulse is holding a workshop at CSP Congress 2010 where members can keep up to date with PLI and raise any issues or questions.

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