Ash James, CSP director of practice and development, addresses the recent de-registration of physiotherapists
I want to introduce June’s issue of Frontline by discussing something that has affected many members in recent weeks and the action that the CSP took as a result.
I was made aware on Monday 2 May that the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration figures for physiotherapists had dropped from 61,846 to 56,553 following the latest renewal cycle. This meant that 5,311 physiotherapists were then unregulated and uninsured.
Shortly after this, we started to receive numerous calls into our enquiries team and to our professional advice service. From these calls it became apparent that a large number of physiotherapists had been removed from the register unintentionally. The main issue seemed to be emails had either not been received in the first place (as the HCPC had used an old/no longer used email address) or initial and reminder emails had gone into members spam or junk folders and therefore been missed.
Whilst we recognise the personal responsibility a registrant has to maintain their registration, it is clear the processes in place from the HCPC are wholly inadequate. I do not feel it is acceptable to send one form of communication for something that is so integral to practice, and as a result members have missed out on income, been sent home from work or moved to a lower band to continue to work.
We were quick and assertive in our contact with the HCPC outlining the urgency that was required to get members back on the register. As a result, the HCPC moved to seven-day working and redeployed resources to ensure members were reinstated and, at the time of writing this, 95 per cent of members who applied for re-registration have been added back to the register.
I am committed to working with the HCPC on a review of all processes and will be producing a report including many of the stories I have received over the last few weeks. I want to ensure that we do not encounter the same issues in two years’ time during our next renewal cycle.
In our In Profile section you’ll see our interview with physiotherapist Professor Valerie Webster, who recently joined the HCPC council and you'll read the HCPC’s response and how to re-join. I hope it has felt like the CSP was there to support you as members when you needed it the most.
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