latest health care news

30.03.15

HCPC proposes another fee increase, to £90

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) wants to increase the renewal fee from £80 to £90 per year from 1 August 2015, with similar rises in its other fees. 

The rise will affect 330,000 professionals regulated by the HCPC in England: 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 and language therapists. 

The rise follows the government’s decision that the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) will no longer be taxpayer funded and will instead be paid for by the eight regulators it oversees. But the fees charged will be calculated by registrant numbers – a decision the HCPC disagreed with because of its “disproportionate impact”, since it has the most registrants but the lowest fees:

 table 1

The HCPC said: “Our forecasts show that without the proposed increase to our fees, the PSA fee and other cost pressures…would push us to deficits of nearly £2m in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, which would be unsustainable.” 

Announcing a consultation on the rise, Marc Seale, HCPC’s chief executive and registrar said: “We are very aware that our costs are funded entirely from the fees our registrants pay. We do our utmost to ensure we operate our processes as efficiently as possible. 

“However, we anticipate that the PSA funding will initially amount to approximately £1m per annum based on current registration numbers. We are disappointed by the decision because we believe it has a disproportionate impact on our registrants and the fees they pay.” 

He added that the consultation sets out where the registrants’ fees are spent and why the increases are needed.  

“We are and will remain the lowest fee of all independent UK health and care regulators,” said Seale. 

The fees are tax deductible. The last increase was on 1 April 2014, when the HCPC its registration fee rose from £76 to £80. 

The latest fee increase consultation will run until 6 May 2015. To find out more about the proposed fees consultation and to take part, click here

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com 

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