This process explains what you should do if you have a complaint against a member. CSP does not deal with concerns or complaints about professional conduct, fitness to practise, or treatments or services they have been offered. But we set out below who does consider these types of complaints, and what types of complaints can be considered by the CSP.
Although CSP membership is not a legal requirement to work (although some employers do insist on membership), the majority of physiotherapists working in the United Kingdom are members of the CSP. This gives them ‘Chartered’ status.
Complaints – who does what?
The CSP is not the regulator for the physiotherapy profession and as a result its powers are limited. It does not handle complaints concerning professional conduct and performance or fitness to practice.
Below is a list of who does what when it comes to complaints:
- Professional conduct or fitness to practise matters - the Health and Care Professions Council
- Service received from a physiotherapist - Patients Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
- Reputation of the CSP and matters of concern which do not relate to the member’s professional conduct or fitness to practice - the CSP
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC,) as the regulatory body, handles complaints concerning the professional conduct and performance or fitness to practice of a physiotherapy registrant. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your concern refers to the professional competence of a physiotherapist, physiotherapy support worker or student you will need to contact their employer or university. They will have their own process in place and will be able to deal with any concerns you may have.
The CSP cannot stop a member’s ability to practise. It routinely reviews the outcomes of HCPC fitness to practise hearings and any CSP member who has been struck off the HCPC register for misconduct will have their CSP membership terminated.
If you are dissatisfied with the standard of service you received from a physiotherapist working in the NHS you should contact the Patients Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS can help resolve concerns or problems you have experienced and can help if you wish to make a complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with the service you received from a private physiotherapist you will need to contact the practice where you were treated as they will have their own complaints process.
Reputation of the CSP and matters of concern which do not relate to the member’s professional conduct or fitness to practice
The CSP can only consider complaints against members in the following circumstances:
- Where it is alleged that the member’s behaviour impacts on the reputation of the CSP. The CSP is responsible for maintaining and protecting the reputation of the Society. If a CSP member has acted in a way to damage public trust or confidence in the Society (including on social media), the complaint will be considered.
- In exceptional circumstances the CSP will consider complaints about other alleged behaviour which raises matters of concern but where it is not appropriate for the HCPC or another body to deal with it, and which do not relate to the member’s professional conduct or fitness to practice. Any such complaints can only be taken forward with the agreement of the Complaints Committee Chair.
- mediation or arbitration services between CSP members and patients or between members
- business or private disputes involving members
- contesting decisions on admission to membership of the CSP
- investigating grievances raised by CSP employees
- investigating complaints about CSP itself or CSP staff, whether members or not - there is a separate procedure for this
- the activities of organisations affiliated to the CSP, e.g. clinical interest and occupational groups
- rehearing complaints previously dealt with by the CSP under former procedures.