A 38,000-STRONG petition was handed in to the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) in Kennington, south London at midday yesterday, protesting at the proposed 18% hike in registration fees.
The union Unite says that the proposed increase is another financial blow to hardpressed NHS staff, such as biomedical scientists, paramedics, and speech and language therapists, who have seen the fees increase by 40% in the past five years.
Farah Kamani, senior medical scientist and Unite rep at the Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, told News Line: ‘Biomedical scientists, like virtually all NHS workers, have suffered no pay rise for the last 10 years.
‘We are all hard-pressed and dedicated to the NHS. We run a 24-hour service round the clock 365 days a year. We do all the blood tests and general diagnostics all around the country.
‘The regulatory body has said they want to raise the registration fee from £90 to £106 a year. We feel this is another hurdle of tax for the current workers as well as new joiners.
‘Already this profession is suffering from staff shortages and privatisation and my colleagues and I are very angry.’
Jane Beach, Unite lead Professional Officer, said: ‘This is another tax on our members who asked us to organise this petition, and there was a fantastic response, with 38,000 signatures on it.
‘The HCPC is meeting on Thursday to make the decision and we say NO!’