UNISON NHS staff welcome a small bit of Xmas cheer

UNISON Scotland welcomed today the decision of the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to pay the PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) registration fee of £59 for all relevant staff in NHS Scotland. 

Following representation by UNISON, Health Secretary Alex Neil has written to the committee which administers terms and conditions for Scottish NHS staff (STAC) to ask them to ‘put in place a system where NHS employers will pay the PVG registration for all staff’ who need it to work with children and vulnerable people. 

Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee, said:
“This is a wee bit of Christmas cheer to hard working NHS staff, who will be running 24 hour services to the most vulnerable in our society over the Christmas and New Year period. 

“We welcome Alex Neil’s decision to listen to UNISON’s arguments on behalf of NHS staff and to agree that the NHS will meet this new £59 registration fee. 

“Many staff in the NHS already pay their own personal registration fee – for example nurses who pay £100 per year to the Nursing & Midwifery Council. At a time of increased pension costs to health staff and years of real terms pay cuts, this is a small but welcome Christmas bonus.” 


For further information please contact:
Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland Health Committee – 07753 627 575
Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland lead organiser for Health – 07904 342 129
John Gallacher, Scottish Organiser – 07904 342 426
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer, UNISON Scotland – 0141 342 2877 or 078765 66978

Notes for editors

1. UNISON represents around 50,000 members across all sections of the Scottish NHS workforce (except doctors) and is the biggest union for nurses in Scotland.

2. In February 2011, the Scottish Government introduced a new membership scheme to replace and improve upon the current disclosure arrangements for people who work with vulnerable groups (http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/pvg/pvg_index.html). NHS Scotland has historically paid disclosure fees for its employees. There was a proposal to pass the new Protection of Vulnerable Groups charge of £59 on to some NHS workers – but that proposal has now been dropped following representation by UNISON, and all relevant staff will now have the PVG fee paid by the NHS employer.