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01 April 2021

Member update - 1 April

This week:

Office hours and support - Easter and bank holiday weekend

The NCHA will close at 5pm today and reopen on Tuesday 6 April at 9am.

Members can still access the support they need over the bank holiday by emailing [email protected]

Review of professional regulation

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a consultation on Regulating health care professionals, protecting the public.

The reforms cover four board areas - governance and operating framework, education and training, registration, and fitness to practise (FTP). The consultation also sets out the "next steps for the reform of professional regulation" to follow this consultation.

Read the HCPC's response.

The NCHA policy team will be analysing the consultation document in detail. Members who would like to take part in this consultation can email us at [email protected]

Covid, hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo

Researchers at the University of Manchester and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) have analysed 56 studies that found a correlation between Covid-19 and auditory and vestibular problems.

Kevin Munro, professor of audiology and lead researcher, said that although we know other viruses can cause hearing loss, "little is understood about the auditory effects of the Sars-CoV-2 virus".

Professor Munro is leading a study to investigate the potential long-term impact of Covid-19 on hearing among people whom hospitals previously treated for the virus. The research team hopes this work will help estimate the number and severity of Covid-19 related hearing disorders in the UK.

Read more

School entry hearing screening pathway

Wales's health minister Vaughan Gething has announced that a "national pathway for school entry hearing screening has been developed for roll out across Wales". "He said: "I am encouraged that here in Wales the service will be available in all seven health boards, whereas in other areas of the UK, provision of hearing screening at school entry age has ceased." Read the complete statement

Update on HCPC Standards of Proficiency consultation

The HCPC has informed us that its recent consultation on the Standards of Proficiency received many responses. As a result, it has decided to delay the Council's consideration of the new standards from March to May. We will keep members up to date with developments. 

Changes to self-employment checks

This is a reminder that changes to the off-payroll working rules via IR35 come into effect from 6 April 2021. Key points are:

  • Rules for engaging individuals through personal service companies (PSCs) or other intermediaries will change from this date
  • Responsibility for working out if IR35 applies and PAYE and NIC are deducted will move to the organisation receiving an individual's services provided by the PSC or other intermediary
  • You need to ensure you understand what, if any, impact this has on your organisation.

The rules apply to private sector companies that meet two or more of the following conditions:

  • An annual turnover of more than £10.2 million
  • A balance sheet total of more than £5.1 million
  • More than 50 employees.

HMRC has produced a list of nine steps you may need to take. Check your progress against the nine steps. You can also register and watch an HMRC webinar on the changes to off-payroll working.

Finally, in an earlier member update, we shared HRMC's compliance approach to reforming off-payroll working rules. Although the implementation of IR35 changes was delayed by a year due to Covid-19, HMRC reiterated this year that from 6 April 2021, it "will focus on ensuring compliance with the new IR35 rules, rather than investigating past arrangements", unless it suspects "fraud or criminal behaviour".

Members can contact us if they have any questions or want to discuss these changes by emailing [email protected]

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