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Nurse starts petition against further NMC fee rise

A mental health nurse has set up a petition calling on the government to review the process through which the Nursing and Midwifery Council decides its annual registration fee.

The online petition was started last Wednesday by Stephen Iwasyk, a mental health liaison nurse at Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust. It has already attracted around 9,000 signatures and could be debated by MPs if it is signed by 100,000 people.

The petition was sparked by a warning from the NMC that its financial situation will be “unsustainable” in future without a further rise in the annual registration fee.

The regulator’s latest finance report, presented at the NMC’s January council meeting, shows it is expecting to end the current financial year with a deficit of £7.3m, which it stated “was unsustainable in future years without a fee rise”.

Mr Iwasyk set up a similar petition in 2012 when the regulator attempted to increase the annual registration fee from £76 to £120. It gained 75,769 signatures and prompted the Department of Health to issue a statement in response.

On that occasion, following much vocal opposition and a £20m grant from the government, the NMC relented and opted instead to up the fee to £100 in February 2013 for two years. However, the NMC’s financial strategy for the period 2012-16 allows for it to revisit an increase to £120 from March 2015.

An NMC spokeswoman said: “As the two years of additional funding provided by the government draws to a close, the NMC council will be reviewing the current fee structure at their March 2014 council meeting.

“This is in line with the NMC’s commitment to review fees on an annual basis,” she said. “The NMC council will have the final decision on whether a fee consultation needs to take place.”

However, the Royal College of Nursing “expressed its concern” at a potential rise in fees. In a statement it said: “The NMC is a body with a guaranteed income and should not rely on a financial strategy of squeezing more money out of frontline nurses.”

 

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Readers' comments (37)

  • Well done that man. I will be signing it after this! Nice to see the RCN speaking out against other bodies financial extortion.........

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  • The NMC needs to give up its base in London. Move to somewhere like Nottingham where everything is not only more competitively priced (think of the savings made in expenses as well as London Weighting on salaries and the one-off sale of real estate in Central London), but is also geographically less of a challenge for Registrants and others who have to attend hearings etc with all the follow on costs that are attached to that.

    Lets see the NMC put that to a members vote.

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  • Ellen Watters

    I have signed, and shared. It wouldn't be quite so bad if we could pay in monthly instalments..

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  • Stephen

    Thank you, you are a hero. It is with great reluctance that I have just sent NMC £100 - for nothing as far as I am concerned. The inexorable rise in fees is outrageous, and it's about time they were stopped. I will encourage as many as possible to sign the petition again - and hope we have 100% success this time. Enough is enough!!

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  • tinkerbell

    Well done Stephen. Signed.

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  • Nurses and midwifes need to stand up and say enough. What do we get for our money? What is the specific role of the NMC for nurses and midwifes ? What are the efficency saving plans for the NMC ? The fitness to practice hearings take to long, sometimes up to 3-5 years before decision is made. Enough is enough!

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  • Well done, I just signed!

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  • I've signed it. Well done Stephen, I notice none of the unions give two you know what's about the NMC ripping-off its registrants!

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  • I am totally against yet another rise in the NMC fee paid for by nursing staff who are continually told there is no more money for wage increases, and why isn't the fee dependent on how much is earned? How can it be fair to charge a part time first year nurse the same as a full time manager!

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  • It's financial situation is unsustainable because it's mismanaged funds. Why should nurses bail the incompetent managers out? Nurses need to stand up for themselves. Enough is enough. Well done Stephen

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  • 40 years a nurse. I've seen the increase in professionalism, but been humiliated by the 'Professional Pay' or rather the lack of it. The move from the GNC quango to the independence of the UKCC was welcomed but it and the NMC as successor has failed to live up to the promise of a powerful professional body.
    Can I ditch the word professional please, beacause my status and the rightful renumeration for my services - just a'int there

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  • Cheers for comments folk. Can I just point out that the article says 10,000 signatures and it might be debated by MPs. That figure is 100,000.

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  • Typo now corrected. Thanks for pointing it out.
    Steve

  • signed, shared and written directly to my own member of parliament

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  • tinkerbell

    please tweet as well. Nurse power!

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  • I know that they would find it difficult to work as a nurse on the front lines if they didn't get the money they are asking for!

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  • Its about time we were asking them exactly what they do with our money and asking for an account of exactly where they spend each pound instead of just accepting their explanation that it costs a lot to investigate complaints etc.
    I wonder how much they award themselves in pay rises/expense claims etc

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  • They can charge what they want and they know we will have to pay it or leave. Eventually they will put the fees up to double what we pay now, you watch.

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  • Have signed it and passed it onto friends and colleagues.
    The NMC are a disgrace to ask for more money from us. They should ask the employers to contribute towards tribunal costs and as previously mentioned, move out of London!

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  • Now why isn't the RCN encouraging its members to sign this petition? The RCN is in the pockets of the government, surely it should be prosecuted under the trade descriptions act!

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  • i have also sign the petition. would also like to know how they spend the money. how can they expect us to pay we haven't had decent pay rise will have to give up work as wont be able to afford the fee.

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