Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Phys21/519P
Practitioner: Lance Easton
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Communication inadequate/inappropriate (Established)

Treatment - care inadequate/inappropriate

Professional standards inadequate

Practising while suspended from practising

Records - inappropriate storage

Records - inadequately maintained

Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Order for interim name suppression for the six patients named in the charge (Ms E, Ms H, Mr S, Ms O, Ms Y and Ms V), and suppression of any identifying details


Order for permanent name suppression for the six patients named in the charge/gave evidence and suppression of any identifying details


Name Suppression to Practitioner

Order for interim name suppression for the practitioner, and suppression of any identifying details

Order declining permanent name suppression for the practitioner apart from health details


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 1356_Phys21_519P.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:

A panel of the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) convened on 12 June to 15 June 2023 to hear a charge of professional misconduct laid by a Professional Conduct Committee (“the PCC”) of the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand (“the Board”) against the practitioner, Lance Easton (“the Practitioner”).


The PCC charged that Practitioner with professional misconduct relating to five main failings. The first two particulars concerned the Practitioner’s treatment of [Ms E] at two appointments in January 2019. Particular 3 covered the services that the Practitioner delivered while suspended by the Board between 19 March 2019 and 9 January 2020. Particulars 4 and 5 related to inadequate retention, storage and maintenance of clinical records. Particulars 6 and 7 concerned the delivery of cervical manipulations and acupuncture without the requisite training, causing injury to [Ms E]. Particular 8 alleged that the Practitioner did not comply with general standards of care through a lack of certain policies, plans, systems and inadequate continuing professional development, support or peer review.

The PCC charged that the conduct outlined in the charge either separately or cumulatively amounted to professional misconduct under section 100(1)(a) and/or (b) of the HPCA Act.

The full charge is set out in Appendix A of the decision.


The Practitioner is a registered physiotherapist. He graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a BHSc (Physiotherapy) in 2008.  He registered with the Board on 2 March 2009. The Practitioner an annual practising certificate from 2 March 2009 until 19 March 2019 when his annual practising certificate was suspended by the Board.  The Practitioner has not held an annual practising certificate since then.

The Practitioner has 10 years’ experience as a physiotherapist, for the majority of the time working as a solo physiotherapist at his own clinic in Pauanui, then in Thames.  He was also a physiotherapist for his local rugby team and for the Thames Valley provincial team.  After he was suspended in March 2019 the Practitioner worked at The Healing Room in Thames.

The Practitioner’s suspension came after a complaint to the Physiotherapy by [Ms E], to whom the Practitioner provided physiotherapy services on 15 and 18 January 2019. [Ms E] alleged that during these sessions, the Practitioner used inappropriate language, acted inappropriately by touching and positioning [Ms E] without informed consent and without providing adequate information. Furthermore, [Ms E] alleged that on the 18 January session, the Practitioner injured [Ms E]’s rib, failed to provide adequate draping to maintain [Ms E]’s privacy, removed his own shirt, and undid [Ms E]’s bra without consent.

Prior to his suspension, the Practitioner provided, at various times, cervical manipulation and acupuncture procedures without adequate training or sufficient formal skills. However, no adverse incidents were reported by clients. The Practitioner also failed to comply with some standards of physiotherapy practice, including failure to uphold procedural requirements relating to disposal of sharps, risk or incident management planning, incident reporting, and continuing professional development.

After the Practitioner’s suspension, he continued to practice physiotherapy and held himself out to the public as such. During this period, he failed to maintain clinical records.



With the exception of particulars 1 b), 1 c), 2 g) and 4, the factual allegations of the Charge were all established. Particulars 1 a), 1 d) and 1 e), as well as particulars 2 a), b), c), d), e), f), h) and i), amounted to professional misconduct cumulatively. Particulars 3, 6, 7 and 8 each individually amounted to professional misconduct. Particular 5 was found to not be professional misconduct.

The Practitioner’s conduct demonstrated a failure to understand the nature of the professional behaviour expected of physiotherapists. Whilst the Practitioner’s individual instances of misconduct were not particularly severe, his failings spanned across critical elements of physiotherapy practice and management, and in several cases were sustained across several years of practice.



The Tribunal ordered:

  • Censure
  • Conditions on the practice
  • A fine of $500
  • Contribution to costs of $44,765.47.


The Tribunal directed publication of the decision and a summary.