Occupational Therapists
United Kingdom

The title and practice of 'Occupational Therapy' is protected under Health Profession Council legislation. In the last year the title "Occupational Physiotherapy" has begun being used by physiotherapists working in the area of work and vocational rehabilitation.

This is a clear appropriation of the protected title of Occupational Therapy and needs action by the Health Profession Council (HPC) to have those using the title to stop the practice.

Fitness to Practice Department
Health Professions Council
184 Kennington Park Road 23/03/09
London SE11 4BU

To whom it may concern

Health Profession Council Protected Title: Occupational Therapy

We, the undersigned working in the United Kingdom as registered occupational therapists, are writing to complain about an infringement of the protected title ‘Occupational Therapy’ as defined and as protected under HPC legislation.

This infringement involves the use of the term Occupational Physiotherapist by physiotherapists in a number of settings. In particular the breach is being carried out by physiotherapists working for and / or going under the name of xxxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx. It is also cropping up in many NHS settings across the country.

It is clear that these individuals are not Occupational Therapists but have subsumed the Occupational prefix to Physiotherapy and are practising under this hybrid title.

At a minimum this appropriation is unhelpful since it serves to confuse and mislead the public as to the service they can expect. At worst it may be regarded as cynical appropriation designed to imply skills and training clearly not pertaining to the training of physiotherapy and treatments that cannot routinely be regarded as physiotherapy.

The use of this nomenclature also implies a strong relationship to Occupational Therapy. The Physiotherapist in the title appears subservient to the word Occupational. It suggests a relationship with ‘occupation’ as a core function and service that is not comparable with an occupational therapy intervention.

In short, there is no such thing as Occupational Physiotherapy, although there may legitimately be something called Occupational Health Physiotherapy.

We understand that this matter has been brought to your attention already, but are not aware of any response to the issue. We would be grateful if you could confirm that this matter will be investigated. It is very important for the professions to respect each other’s professional skills and competencies which are reflected in the titles. The failure to maintain that distinction, by what in our view is the misleading use of the title of which we complain, only serves to create disharmony between the disciplines and most importantly misleads the public.

Yours faithfully
Gerry Mcfeely 21/2 Argyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH152QQ
(HPC registration number : OT 14237)

And Colleagues

The Occupational Therapy HPC Protected Title petition to Occupational Therapists was written by gerry mcfeely and is in the category Health at GoPetition.