Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Physiotherapist suspended after intimate relationship with former patient
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Physiotherapist suspended after intimate relationship with former patient

06 Feb 2024

A West Australian physiotherapist has had her registration suspended for four months after engaging in an intimate relationship with a former patient soon after the treating relationship ended.

The Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board) referred Emmery Starling to the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) in May 2023 for breaching professional boundaries.

Ms Starling admitted that she breached professional boundaries by engaging in a personal, intimate and ongoing relationship with the patient soon after their clinical relationship had ceased, and that this constituted professional misconduct.

On 4 December 2023 the Tribunal made orders that Ms Starling had engaged in a way that constituted professional and reprimanded her, suspended her registration for four months and imposed conditions that she be required to undergo mentoring. She was further ordered to pay $7,500 towards the Board’s costs.

Read the tribunal’s full decision on the eCourts website.

Page reviewed 6/02/2024