Staff 'working seven days a week' to get physios who missed HCPC deadline back on to the register
Nearly one physiotherapist in 10 failed to apply to renew their professional registration by the end of April deadline that had been set by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). A total of 5,311 physiotherapists are said to have missed this year's deadline in the renewal process, which happens over a three-month period every two years.
In a statement issued yesterday (14 May), executive director of regulation Andrew Smith said staff at the HCPC were working seven days a week in order to process the forms that had been submitted by tardy physios and to put them back on to the register so that they could continue to practise.
Pointing out that 91 per cent of physios had renewed their registrations on time, Mr Smith noted: ‘In our renewal processes, we usually see between 90 and 97 per cent of a profession choose to renew, as people leave professions for many different reasons, including retirement or a career change.'
HCPC process gave 'ample time' to renew
We fully appreciate the impact on patients and services and the distress that can be caused when registrants unintentionally let their registration lapse. To minimise the impact ... we are working seven days a week [Andrew Smith, HCPC]
Mr Smith said: ‘We fully appreciate the impact on patients and services and the distress that can be caused when registrants unintentionally let their registration lapse. To minimise the impact of this, we are working seven days a week to get people back on the register as quickly as possible and have now processed 88 per cent of all readmission forms we have received,’
Physiotherapy is one of the 15 allied health professions (AHPs) overseen by the HCPC – all of which ‘play vital roles in the health and care system', according to Mr Smith.
‘When the renewal window opens, we contact people via email and text. If we do not have an email address, we make every effort to contact registrants; firstly by phone and then by post, to ensure they have ample time to renew.'
Mr Smith added: ‘We regularly remind registrants of renewal dates on social media channels, in our newsletters and through their professional bodies, as well as sending out a reminder email two weeks before the renewal deadline.’
'Huge' implications for patients
In an Observer newspaper article published today (15 May), Ash James, director of practice and development at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), said a large number of distressed physiotherapists had contacted the society’s helpline in recent days. At one Liverpool-based NHS trust, 23 physios had been sent home in a single day, with ‘huge’ implications for patients, Mr Ash said.
On 4 May, the CSP warned members who may have missed the HCPC deadline to check their registration and to ‘stop advising or seeing patients with immediate effect’ if they had been de-registered. Mr Ash added that the HCPC’s communication with members had been ‘wholly insufficient’.
Renew by the end of May or face a further fee
Physiotherapists and other AHPs have to pay the HCPC £196.24 in order to renew their registration. Those who apply to re-join the register after 30 May must complete a more detailed readmission form and pay a readmission fee of £147.18, in addition to the registration fee.
Can physios still work if they have not yet been re-registered?
In order to practise under one of the HCPC's protected titles in the UK, physios are legally required to be on the register. However, providing they do not practise under that title, the physio's employer has the discretion to allow them to undertake duties at their workplace, according to the HCPC. 'This might mean that you can carry out some duties under supervision,' the HCPC adds.
For more information, visit: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/news-and-events/news/2022/physiotherapists-how-to-rejoin-the-register-if-youve-been-removed/Author: Ian A McMillan