News

Cautious welcome for health surcharge changes

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 22nd May 2020

The UK Government has u-turned on its plans for the Immigration Health Surcharge for health and social care staff.

Scottish organisations who raised concern about the impact of the Immigration Health Surcharge have cautiously welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that it will be removed for health and social care staff.

In April, the UK Government announced tentative plans to review the charge for NHS workers, which was met with concern by social care organisations in Scotland who called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to include social care staff in the review.

Yesterday (21 May 2020), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the surcharge would be removed for health and social care staff.

Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), said:

“This is a welcome move – but we are cautious until further detail on the plan is published. We must promote the interests of both NHS and social care staff and ensure that social care workers, in any settings, are not forced to pay the surcharge in order to support people with long term conditions and disabled people to achieve their best outcomes. This exemption must extend as far as the many volunteers who work in Scotland’s social care system every year and on whom our health and social care system relies.”

Dr Neil Henery, Director, Camphill Scotland said:

“This is a very welcome announcement but it is not clear yet whether it includes international workers who volunteer to work with us on Tier 5 visas. We are urgently seeking clarity on this vital matter.”

Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care said:

“I am delighted that The UK Government has made a decision to value social care staff and to treat them with equity and fairness. The sacrificial service of so many has rightly been recognised.”

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