‘Do I need insurance and qualifications to deliver physiotherapy at my local gym?’

Professional adviser Kathryn Appleby responds ...

Kathryn Appleby is a CSP professional adviser
Kathryn Appleby is a CSP professional adviser

There are many scenarios where delivering physiotherapy within a public gym setting makes perfect sense, whether it’s accompanying a patient to their own gym or taking advantage of having a leisure centre next door to your clinic. The benefits of having access to the equipment and empowering patients to self-manage are clear. But we often get asked if this is covered by insurance and whether additional qualifications are required. 

The CSP Medical Malpractice and Public Liability Cover applies wherever you work – including gyms (subject to terms and conditions). However, you would need to clarify what insurances the gym has in place in addition to this. 

If you are working in your capacity as a physiotherapist, (and not a personal trainer), you do not need extra qualifications to treat patients in a gym. You may need to upskill to ensure you are competent in the use of the equipment. It’s important to ensure you continue to provide the level of physiotherapy you would in any other setting, continuing to meet HCPC standards. This includes clear assessment, reasoned treatments and thorough record keeping. 

It would be advisable to discuss practicalities with gym managers in advance, including membership, paperwork, ID badge requirements and timings of treatment (open access or pre-booked sessions). Also ensure you are clear on gym safety policies, evacuation procedures and access arrangements for patient safety. 

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