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Sports therapy decision surprises CSP

Sports therapy could be officially regulated as a separate profession from physiotherapy, if a recommendation from the Health Professions Council (HPC) is accepted by government.

The move comes despite concerns from the CSP that the application lacks any substantial evidence base and that there was no consultation with the CSP in advance.

The Society of Sports Therapists (SoST) submitted an application in July 2010, seeking statutory regulation for all sports therapists. In an unexpected move, the HPC council decided on 10 February 2011 to recommend the proposal to the government.

The SoST application argued that physiotherapy and sports therapy are two distinct disciplines, warranting separate statutory recognition. But the CSP argues there is not a convincing case that sports therapy is distinctly different from physiotherapy.

Phil Gray, chief executive of the CSP, argues that the application casts physiotherapy in a negative light and makes its case by using anecdotal comments and out of context quotations from CSP members. It also uses out-of-date documents, such as the 1920 charter.

The HPC should review its previous decision and seek more detailed information from the CSP about the role and knowledge base of contemporary physiotherapy,’ he says.

The HPC decision came just days before the government published a major review of future professional regulation which
will effectively halt any new professions being granted statutory recognition by the government.

It is thought likely that the SoST bid may well be caught by this change in government policy.

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