Fee rise for stretched NHS workers is unfair and misjudged, says UNISON


Compulsory annual registration fee could rise from £98.12 to £117.74.

Paramedics, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners and many other health professionals could see the fee allowing them to practise rise by an “unfair” 20% next year, warns UNISON today (Friday).

In a consultation that opened this week, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), which regulates 15 professions in the health sector, has proposed an increase in its compulsory annual registration fee from £98.12 to £117.74.

UNISON says the rise is unfair and disproportionate, especially during the biggest income squeeze in a generation. The 2021 increase saw fees jump 9% from £90 to £98.12.

If this latest increase goes ahead as planned, overall fees will have increased by almost half (47%) since 2014, while pay continues to fall far short of inflation, says UNISON. The union intends to oppose the plans in its consultation response.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Proposing such a steep rise when health workers are struggling to pay for basics is seriously misjudged and simply unfair. Paramedics, occupational therapists and operating department practitioners have no choice but to pay the fee to practise.

“This additional expense can be avoided. The council must come up with better ways to support registrants, so fees don’t feel like a tax on work.”

Notes to editors
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
– The HCPC regulates 15 professions: arts therapists, biomedical scientists, podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists, radiographers, and speech and language therapists.
– If the rise goes ahead, it will take effect from July 2023.

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