More than 350,000 health workers across the UK face a massive 18% rise in membership fees to their professional register.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has included proposals to increase annual registration fees – without which workers in 16 different health and care professions couldn’t practise – from £90 to £106 in a new consultation.
UNISON has launched a survey to gauge how our members are affected by the rise, which comes only three years after the controversial 12.5% increase in 2015 when fees went up from £80 to £90, despite a 5% increase the previous year.
The deadline for the survey is Sunday 9 December, in time for the results to be included in the HCPC consultation, which closes on Friday 14 December.
The HCPC claims the increase is necessary to continue to invest in the services they offer to registrants, and to keep pace with the cost of inflation and the impact that the removal of social workers from the HCPC register will have when they are transferred to Social Work England in 2019.
UNISON argues that the HCPC should find the money through cost-saving plans and reducing the number of cases that reach the hearing stage. What’s more, registrants should not be punished for the government’s mishandling of the regulation of social workers.
The HCPC regulates arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists/podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists/orthotists, radiographers, social workers in England and speech & language therapists.