CSP members face a nine per cent hike in registration fees from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), an increase the CSP has branded ‘hugely disappointing’.
The physiotherapy profession’s regulatory body will increase the registration renewal fee, application scrutiny fee and application fee from April next year, it announced this week.
CSP director Natalie Beswetherick said: ‘Members will be extremely angry at the HCPC’s decision, particularly following a time that has seen so many overworked, exhausted and stressed in their efforts to maintain excellent patient care during a pandemic.
It’s hugely disappointing that HCPC refers to the enormous contribution our members have made under the pressures of the past year then rewards them with a financial penalty.
CSP member complaints about receiving a poor service from the HCPC reached a new high when the regulator closed its helpline during the first lockdown.
Physiotherapists were quick to react with anger at the news. 'This is shocking,' tweeted physiotherapist Andrew Lloyd. 'As a physio who worked crazy shifts during Covid to cover staff sickness, ITU night turn, high flow oxygen Covid wards and rehabilitated Covid victims so they could walk off the wards ... this is the thanks we get?'
Darrah McGee commented on Twitter, 'What justifies it and what stops them increasing it by the likes of 20% next year? It’s a mandatory fee that has to be paid if you want to work as a physio in the UK but where does the money go?'
The HCPC claimed it needs the extra cash to fund it to become a ‘high performing, adaptable and caring regulator that ensures public protection through evidence-based regulation’.
U-turn on higher fee
Lobbying from CSP and others forced the HCPC to drop plans for a 17.8 per cent rise to fees last year. The proposed increase would have come into effect in February, but was delayed by 12 months after an outcry across trade unions, prompting them to reduce the increase by more than half.
Ninety per cent of the 2,398 individuals who submitted their views on the original fee rise hike said ‘no’ to the proposal.
When announcing this latest fee rise, the HCPC paid tribute to the ‘essential role, under immense pressure in providing treatment and care for those that need it most’ that health and social care workers had played during the pandemic.
The renewal period for physiotherapists starts on 1 February 2022.
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