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Unions claim victory over paying for police checks

21 December 2012 - 2:13pm

Physiotherapists and other NHS staff in Scotland could be better off by nearly £60 after the government said NHS employers should pay for staff to be vetted before working with vulnerable people.

Scottish cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, Alex Neil, has written to the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee, which covers employment arrangements for Scottish NHS staff, asking it to 'discuss' a system that would see employers cover Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme fees for all staff.

PVG was introduced in Scotland in 2010, to extend and improve existing disclosure arrangements for people working with vulnerable groups.

One-off fee

At the time, staff side unions were assured that employers would cover the cost, as they had done with previous disclosure arrangements, but once registrations began to take place staff were asked to pay the one-off £59 registration fee.

Healthcare unions sought to have the fees covered by employers, but despite union pressure the Scottish Government had previously said only that staff at band 4 or under should be exempt from the cost.

Mr Neil's letter, sent this week, is the first indication that no NHS staff would face fees.

CSP senior negotiating officer for Scotland, Claire Ronald, welcomed Mr Neil's proposal.

'This is testament to the persistence of staff-side unions, and recognition of the financial pressures that NHS staff are under,' she said.

'It might seem a small amount, but it will be one less thing for staff to worry about.'


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