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Petition against further NMC fee rise halfway to target

A petition calling on the government to review the process through which the Nursing and Midwifery Council decides its annual registration fee has already been signed by 50,000 people.

The online petition was started last Wednesday by Stephen Iwasyk, a mental health liaison nurse at Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust.

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”.

The petition states: “We would like the government to review the NMC with regard to the fees charged to registered nurses and midwives, and the processes through which those fees are decided.

“The fees were increased two years ago from £76 to £100, following a consultation that was overwhelmingly against the rise.”

The concerns raised by the petition could be debated by MPs if it is signed by 100,000 people. It passed the halfway point to this total on the afternoon of 10 February, today, less than a week after it was set up on the government’s website.

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 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.”

The Royal College of Nursing and Unison have both condemned any increase in registration fee.

Unison head of nursing Gail Adams said today: “Nurses and midwives have no choice, if they don’t pay their registration fee they can’t practice. So they will be understandably angry if that fee was to increase again.

Gail Adams

“Nurses and midwives have been struggling with pay freezes and a huge increase in their workload. The last thing they need is an inflated registration fee,” she said.

 

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Readers' comments (10)

  • Those of us who paid a 'one off' registration fee get angry every year when we have to pay again. Now the increase! Are the NMC trying to drive nurses out of the profession

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  • Please push to allow us to pay it monthly too.
    I find it hard enough to find this sum of money annually, but my colleague was telling me that she met her husband in training so they both qualified together. £200 (or £240 as it will be) in one months family budget is a huge sum to find in one go!

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 10-Feb-2014 8:36 pm

    'Are the NMC trying to drive nurses out of the profession'

    I was never one for conspiracy theories but since May 2010 and joining up all the dots I think the answer is probably 'yes'.

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  • Every nurse could set aside a monthly sum to pay for their registration annually, but it is the increase I find unacceptable. What do nurses and midwives recieve for their annual fee of £100 ? Is the NMC looking at ways that they can reduce their expenditure as is the NHS having to look at ways of working more efficently with significant reduced budgets...Do we need to have a base in Bloomsbury that may cost fortune ?

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  • Nurses as a national group could decide what is a reasonable registration fee, based on the amount other similarly paid professionals have to pay, and agree that amount and no more. It would certainly be less that £100 a year. The NMC will then have to learn to budget accordingly, and as others have already suggested, move out of their London offices. Of course, this will never happen, because nurses seem to have the fight knocked out of them.

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  • You can reclaim the money from the tasxd man so you get it back

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  • you can claim but it is not all refunded it is only a percentage

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  • Anonymous 11 Feb 4.53 pm

    I don't know where you got this idea from! Anonymous 6.35pm is right, you only get a percentage back - 20% if you are a basic rate tax payer. Anyway, why should the NMC demand increased fees from us when our pay has remained frozen for 3 years??? I thought we were all in this together?? Nurses, for heavens sake, wake up and protest against this unfair fee increase.

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  • We are being asked to pay for the appalling management of an organisation that was found sadly lacking by the CHRE review in 2012. They have not offered safe regulation in the past and my recent experience of them offers no assurance that anything has improved. Maybe the universities should be asked to contribute some of the funds required for the record numbers of fitness to practise panels, after all, they are the ones selecting nursing candidates and allowing them to qualify.

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  • I am just pleased i am no longer a member.

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