27 Jul 2023

Advice on breach of trust

When a member comes to us with a question about a dispute or disagreement they might be encountering with a colleague or neighbour, Physio First aims to achieve the best resolution for a positive outcome.

Problem: A member was involved in acrimonious correspondence with someone she had engaged as a massage therapist who had taken photos of herself delivering massage treatment in the practice and was, having set up a new massage business, using the same photos for its promotion. Initially the massage therapist refused our member's request that the photos be removed, and when she finally agreed, she took a further month to do so.

This understandably left our member feeling angry and betrayed, and she contact our Physio First office for advice on whether there was any further action she could take.

Resolution: We advised her that, whilst it was frustrating, there was little that could be done elsewhere. 

  • The CSP would only pursue it if they felt that a member’s behaviour “is likely to damage the reputation of the CSP”
  • The Advertising Standards Agency are likely to regard this as a dispute rather than a breach of their standards
  • The HCPC is unlikely to intervene as their primary responsibility is patient safety
  • Taking legal action is very expensive and the evidential requirements for a “passing off action” (i.e. when someone tries to acquire clients by pretending to be another business) are very onerous. 

Outcome: The member took our advice and accepted that the agreement to remove the photos was the best that might be achieved. The episode was consiged as 'one bad experience' in a professional lifetime of fulfilment, and it was better to waste no more time or energy on it.

Feedback: Having the chance to simply talk through the situation with our Physio First team, helped our member with a situation that had made her feel angry. Eventually, through our advice, she was able to positively decide to refuse to engage with the situation, or even think about it anymore.

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