BORIS Johnson is coming under intense pressure from Conservative MPs and peers to perform another U-turn on healthcare and scrap the “immoral” and “monstrous” fees some overseas frontline workers are charged for using the NHS.

Yesterday in the Commons, Labour and the SNP both expressed their deep concerns that thousands of hospital workers like cleaners and porters as well as care home staff, who have come from abroad to serve in the country’s healthcare system, have to pay £400, rising to £625 in October, to access the NHS.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, told MPs many such health workers were "risking their lives" during the Covid-19 pandemic and announced he would table an amendment to the UK Government’s Immigration Bill to end the NHS surcharge for foreign workers who work in the health and care system.

Ian Blackford, who leads the SNP at Westminster, branded the NHS fee “cruel” and demanded its immediate removal.

Earlier, the Royal College of Nursing had expressed “alarm” that the Government had no plans to exempt foreign health workers from the NHS surcharge and urged Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, in a letter to waive the charge "as a matter of urgency".

The Prime Minister responded by saying he recognised the difficulties faced by “our amazing NHS staff,” including those who came from abroad and who had helped save his own life from the coronavirus, but he insisted the Government had to look at the “realities” and suggested the country could not afford to lose the £900 million the surcharge brought in to the NHS.

However, the concerns about the NHS surcharge are now emerging on the Tory benches.

Lord Patten, the former Conservative Chairman, told the Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s appalling, it’s immoral.

“We depend in our care homes on people who come from other countries. This is monstrous that people who come from overseas to help and risk their lives in really difficult circumstances aren’t treated properly.

“There’s a basic sense of fair play in this country which, I hope, Mr Johnson will recognise. It would be madness and wickedness not to recognise the contribution which these people are making. It would be awful if we were to make people pay more when they are making such a big contribution to the well-being of older people in society,” he added.

Another grandee, Sir Roger Gale, the former Tory Vice-Chairman, warned Mr Johnson that not to waive the current surcharge "would rightly be perceived as mean-spirited, doctrinaire and petty".

His Conservative colleague William Wragg, who chairs the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, who also called for the fee to be waived, said: "Now is the time for a generosity of spirit towards those who have done so much good."

The NHS surcharge for migrant health and care workers coming from outside the European Economic Area is set at £400 per year but is due to rise to £624 in October.

Sir Roger disputed the cost, suggesting that, while he had no doubt that Mr Johnson provided the £900m figure "in good faith", it was in fact a “total figure for the sum collected and not the amount actually received annually from health and care service-employed immigrants".

He explained: "That figure is a fraction of the total sum; probably not more than £50m.

"I have tabled a written question to secure the correct details from the Home Office, but, in the meantime, I strongly believe that the £400 charge should be waived for those immigrants currently working in the health and care services and saving lives.

"To do otherwise would rightly be perceived as mean-spirited, doctrinaire and petty and the Prime Minister has none of those failings."

Earlier, James Brokenshire, the Home Office Minister, insisted the PM had been “right" to reject the calls to scrap the surcharge during yesterday’s PMQs, saying the issue was "complicated".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The situation in relation to those people working within different functions in the NHS is more complicated because of the visa and immigration system that they are likely to be within.

"In other words, if you are a doctor and nurse then you are on a specific visa when we have that direct contact with the NHS trust.

"For those in social care, it is more disparate, which makes it more complicated and more challenging in terms of the situation."

However, he added the Government would "continue to keep this under review".

Yesterday, UK ministers bowed to pressure by reversing a decision to allow the families of NHS care workers and cleaners who had died on the Covid-19 frontline to stay in the UK.

This week, an email to the GMB union made clear the offer of indefinite leave to remain only applied to certain occupations, including nurses, radiographers and biochemists.

The Government decision to exclude care staff, hospital cleaners and porters was denounced as “heartless” and Labour stressed how the “claps and thank-yous are simply not enough” for those bereaved families.

However, yesterday Ms Patel announced the bereavement scheme was being extended with immediate effect with the offer to stay in Britain forever, free of charge.