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Society leads opposition to “massive hike” in HCPC fees

28 November 2018

Nine trade unions, professional bodies and health and care organisations, coordinated by the British Psychological Society, have come together to call on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to scrap its planned 18 per cent increase in fees.

The nine organisations, which include UNISON and Unite the Union, have sent an open letter to the HCPC’s chief executive.

It says such a steep rise cannot be justified at a time when health and care professionals have seen little increase in their own incomes for years.

Practitioners on the HCPC register had a fee increase imposed on them as recently as 2015, so if this additional increase goes ahead the annual registration fee they pay will have risen by nearly 40 per cent since 2014.

The organisations express concern that the planned increase is intended to make up for the HCPC’s predicted loss of income when social workers in England transfer to a new regulator in 2019.

However, they say, social workers account for more than half of the fitness-to-practise cases the HCPC hears, so the HCPC’s costs should decrease significantly when they leave its register.

The NHS is under enormous pressure and staff shortages are becoming apparent throughout the health professions. This means, the letter concludes, that anything that could act as a disincentive to people joining or remaining in the service must be avoided.

Sarb Bajwa, chief executive of the British Psychological Society, said:

“Practitioner psychologists make a real difference to the lives of people across the UK, both in private practice and as part of the NHS.

For them to be hit by a disproportionate and unjustified increase in their annual registration fees, at a time when wages are stagnant, would be extremely disappointing. 

We urge the HCPC to reconsider this rise and look instead at making improvements to their own efficiency before hitting hard-working staff with such a massive hike in fees.”

The full text of the letter to the HCPC is attached below and is signed by the Academy for Healthcare Science, the Allied Health Professions Federation, the British Psychological Society, the College of Podiatry, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Society of Radiographers, Unison and Unite.

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