A decision of the panel of the Health Professions Council Conduct and Competence Committee of the 1 July 2010
Physiotherapist ACS has been struck off the HPC Register for failing to provide a private area for a patient to undress, failing to provide a gown for a patient, failing to leave the room whilst patients were undressing and inappropriately massaging patients when there was no clinical reason to do so.
A panel of the HPC Conduct and Competence Committee heard how the allegations against the registrant involved his conduct towards three female patients, all of whom had been referred for treatment following injuries that each had received in separate road traffic accidents.
The Panel further heard that a complaint was made after ASC had telephoned one of the patients trying to pressurise her into having another session with him explaining that the female physiotherapists were often fully booked.
The Panel also heard that ACS later telephoned the patient again asking her to withdraw her complaint and write a letter regarding this. She told the Panel that the registrant had explained to her that he had been suspended from work and if the complaint was not withdrawn he could lose his job.
Panel Chair Mr John Williams commented:
“The Panel having found the majority of the facts to be proved that the actions of the registrant amounted to misconduct”
“There was no clinical justification for performing frontal massage on the patients. The Panel is satisfied that there was a sexual motivation in the actions and comments of the registrant towards all three complainants”
“A patient is entitled to place trust in a treating physiotherapist and the registrant’s actions breached this trust. The Panel considered the registrant’s behaviour to be so egregious that a finding of impairment was inescapable.”
The panel decided the most appropriate action was to strike ACS off the register.
ACS was present at the hearing and represented by Counsel