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Sports Medical Professionals at Your Club

There are a number of therapists whose services may be engaged by a club. Clubs should determine which type of therapist is most appropriate for their needs and take advice on this if necessary. Generally, the therapist will belong to one or more of the following professional groups:

A physio for Devon at a youth rugby counties match

Photo: Getty Images

  • Physiotherapist
  • Sports Therapist
  • Sports Rehabilitator
  • Osteopath
  • Chiropractor
  • Sports Massage Therapist

Clubs should only engage individuals in this role if they fulfil the following criteria:

  • Hold full registration with the their regulating body (e.g. Health Professions Council, General Osteopathic Council) or professional association (British Association of Sports Rehabilitators and Trainers, Society of Sports Therapists)
  • Have appropriate training and experience for the role
  • Hold indemnity insurance which covers the role. If the individual is appropriately trained and experienced, and is working I below the elite sport level, this is usually provided at no extra cost to the individual as part of their normal indemnity cover
  • Criminal Records Bureau check
  • Has an annual appraisal which includes this role

The club therapist may take on any or all of the following responsibilities and to avoid confusion, these should be agreed in writing:

  • Provide physiotherapy/sports therapy  services for the club’s players
  • Provide effective and prompt emergency treatment to the players as required at matches and/or training sessions
  • Ensure that the appropriate records are maintained and stored in accordance with best practice
  • Provide an effective and comprehensive programme covering injury prevention, player education, injury management, pre and post match care of players
  • Liaise with the appropriate medical practitioners and fitness staff in determining the match fitness of players 
  • Ensure effective liaison and co-ordination at all times with the club management team, coaches, and athletic performance and medical support services
  • Ensure that relevant legislation is complied with and best practice in all aspects of health care provided is followed
  • Provide a clinical governance lead within the club
 

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