Acupuncture for fertility and the CSP PLI scheme

Any acupuncture for fertility-related treatments was removed from the CSP’s PLI Scheme from 1st July 2016. The following frequently-asked questions explain this change and will support you to take any appropriate measures to ensure you are fully indemnified for your practice.

Do I need indemnity for my work as a physiotherapist?

Yes. Since July 2014 the HCPC has required mandatory indemnity as a condition of your continued HCPC registration as a practicing physiotherapist.

What is the CSP PLI scheme?

The main CSP PLI scheme is a group indemnity scheme for the benefit of the majority of CSP members. It provides a medical malpractice, professional indemnity and public liability insurance scheme for an individual’s physiotherapy work. It has a number of terms, conditions and exclusions in place.

Why was there a change to the PLI scheme for the use of acupuncture for fertility-related treatments?

The CSP continually reviews areas of risk in respect of the practice of physiotherapy. It specifically identifies the areas that, should they arise as a claim against the scheme, may result in an increase in the cost of the annual indemnity premium to the CSP.

The CSP needs to strike a balance between accepting that risk and identifying ways to keep the premium affordable. It has been identified that the significant claims in the area of obstetrics and gynaecology, in general, may lead to an unacceptable risk exposure to the PLI scheme.

The CSP decided that the use of acupuncture for fertility treatment by members will not be covered by the terms of the main PLI scheme, and there is therefore an exclusion clause for new and/or further treatments delivered after 1 July 2016.

What happens after 1 July 2016?

The CSP PLI scheme will not cover claims arising from new or ongoing treatments of acupuncture to treat fertility issues delivered on or after 1 July 2016.

Separate indemnity provision for the treatment of these patients from this date, or stop treating them with acupuncture for fertility problems as you will be uninsured.

Which CSP members are affected?

All members practicing using acupuncture to treat fertility as part of physiotherapy practice.

Is acupuncture still in the scope of physiotherapy practice?

Yes. Acupuncture is a modality that physiotherapists may wish to use if they identify the evidence for its use is suitable for a specific patient and their condition: and they are carrying this treatment out as a physiotherapist.

The Society has not made a decision about whether the use of acupuncture for fertility related treatments is within the scope of physiotherapy practice as that is for the individual member to decide. Further information on scope of practice can be found at www.csp.org.uk/scope

Will acupuncture used for treatment of fertility delivered before 1 July 2016 be covered by the CSP PLI scheme?

Yes provided any claim is brought during the current policy period. The exclusion of acupuncture used for fertility problems only applies to new or ongoing treatments undertaken after 1st July 2016.

What if I want to offer acupuncture as part of my non-physiotherapy related work, for example, as an Acupuncturist?

You will not be covered by the CSP PLI scheme. This is because the CSP PLI scheme only covers activities within the scope of physiotherapy practice, subject to policy terms and conditions.

You should make alternative arrangements for your insurance for your non–
physiotherapy work.

Do I need to join AACP?

No. CSP recognised Professional Networks may offer additional support to physiotherapists such as access to CPD activities, and a range of member benefits including extended or increased limits of PLI cover.

Membership of a professional network does not provide exclusive evidence of the

I am not a member of AACP. What should I do now?

You may choose to join AACP and then consider purchasing any separate fertility insurance they may provide as a benefit of membership.

Alternatively, you may choose to source your own individual insurance for fertility acupuncture from any insurance provider operating in the medical malpractice market.

You may choose to stop offering acupuncture for fertility if you decide you do not want to pay for the separate insurance you need to practice the modality.

Where can I find further information?

Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP)

The CSP Insurance brokers

Graybrook Hallam
8 Chandlers Way
South Woodham Ferrers
Essex. CM3 5TB

Disclaimer:

The information provided in this document is not exhaustive and does not in any way alter the terms and conditions of the Medical Professional Liability or Public Liability policies forming part of the CSP’s PLI insurance programme.

In the event of any conflict the terms and conditions of these policies will take precedence over this summary document.

Members are strongly advised to read the CSP’s PLI policy details including the wording of the proposed exclusion, which is available on the member’s website or from the brokers.

The CSP or their brokers cannot be responsible for insurance covers arranged elsewhere by members, who should ensure such policies are adequate and appropriate for their professional requirements.

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