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Petition against NMC fee rise reaches 100,000 signature target

A petition calling on the government to review the process the Nursing and Midwifery Council uses to decide its annual registration fee has reached a major milestone.

The online petition has now been signed by 100,000 people, meaning that under the government’s rules it must be considered as a potential topic for debate by MPs in the Commons.

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

Last month, the regulator’s leaders subsequently agreed to go ahead with a consultation on a possible registration fee increase, from £100 to £120, less than two years since the last rise.

The consultation will run from May to July, with the NMC council considering the outcome in October. If agreed, the regulator would then seek to introduce the fee rise from February 2015.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council

The petition was started earlier this year by Stephen Iwasyk, a mental health liaison nurse at Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust.

It 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 petition passed the halfway point to its target total in February, less than a week after it was set up on the government’s website. However, since then, progress has been more slow-going.

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.

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.

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

The NMC noted that the petition had reached 100,000 signatures but said its financial assumptions remained the same.

A spokeswoman said: “When we consulted on the registration fee in 2012, we made it clear that we needed a fee of £120 per registrant, based on our financial assumptions at the time. Nothing has changed since then… which is why we are about to consult on increasing the fee by £20.

“Nurses and midwives are not alone in paying a registration fee,” she said. “Fees for other healthcare profession regulators range from between £160 for two years to over £700 annually.”

Readers' comments (14)

  • Signed!

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  • This is incredible a fee hike in 2012 of 25% at least 10 times the then current rate of inflation and now they want more. Three points - there are a great deal more nurses than any other healthcare professionals so some sort of economy of scale has to come from that in terms of fees if as I suspect there are around 500,000 registered nurses the income from registration looks on the face of it quite healthy.
    Should the NMC consider moving out of London? I don't know if they own or rent their premisis but a central London location is expensive - if it was to say to move to Manchester or Leeds wouldn't this better reflect a central location more accessible to all the registered nurses in this nation of ours
    I have always found the NMC evasive and non-commital on the three occassions I have asked for advice/guidance. I often ask what is the NMC for - who remembers the short lived monthly magazine of a couple of years ago that I found to be littered with inaccuracies!

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  • registered dental nurses on as little as £8.50 an hour have to pay £120 a year plus indemnity and CPD costs. We don't even have a decent professional body to represent and help us fight for lower fees :(

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  • as a majority of nurses work for the NHS and a majority of which have not had a pay raise in the last several years (despite cost of living going up), I feel its un fair the cost of our fees have gone up already by £24. But to now say to increasing again by another £20. seems to me to be daylight robbery. Those of us who are working part time or who are lone parents working can not really afford to pay such a lump sum EVERY YEAR!!!

    those who have to pay more for their annual fees are more then likely on a much high wage then what nurses are so it is unfair to compare us to other professionals

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  • £300 a day,plus 4-5* hotels and expenses to sit on fitness to practice cases which can last for days wonder where our money goes.

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  • The NMC have stated that the fee rises and the vast majority of the whole fee is used in the "fitness to practice" part of its role as regulator. Figures for 2012 are that 650 Nurses or Midwives had allegations against them upheld and various sanctions were put in place. This equates to £120,000 per case. I know it is not all of the fee but it is the majority. The NMC needs to be investigated/audited comprehensively before more money is thrown at them. Regulators such as those who regulate the energy suppliers are funded by the user/consumer, the public and in part by the Government. Perhaps if the NMC were more accountable they would be more efficient.

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  • Geraldine Fox

    The NMC were given £20 million to clear the backlog(or 'historical' cases as they prefer to call them!) which they have failed to do.they state they are to protect the public first and foremost.we, as nurses, are the public too.nurses are being slated left,right and centre by bad press,no wage rise,pension cuts,no increments but we still strive to do our job to the best of our ability.pity the NMC aren't doing theirs! the government need to investigate them for their continued failings.if i was failing in my job i would quickly find myself in front of the NMC on my fitness to practice!

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  • They should go back to their core responsibility of 'maintaining a register of registered nurses & midwives'.

    Forget trying to do other things; they don't support or develop nurses or midwives to improve practice (and long since provided any direct advice), they aren't the people providing the training, they're not efficient enough at removing registrants with wrong attitudes, ethics and substandard practices, without it costing an arm/leg. They can't deal with poor management and other staff (especially non-registrants), affecting registered staff leading to poorer quality care. They don't complaint when its poor legislation / government policies that have lead to the stresses causing care not to be delivered when and where it matters.

    Let the judicial courts deal with law breakers, and if affects healthcare given to patients and colleagues, then those people can be dealt with accordingly, through supervised practice, or suspension or removal from the register. If laws are broken, there's usually penalties involved including fines and imprisonment, along with a criminal record - which then makes it very difficult to get another job, as it shows up on CRB/DBS checks when required.

    Everything else should be sent back to the employers to deal with internally through training, capability, disciplinary or organisational systems policies.

    Time to scrap the NMC or go back to basics. Keeping a database, so that public/employers can check if a person is on the official register, with a much smaller team of staff shouldn't cost millions.

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  • andy | 3-May-2014 10:54 am

    the register has probably long since been forgotten and left to fester and gather dust somewhere in the archives until they discover there is money to be made in digitialising it and selling it off to interested parties, if the data doesn't get hacked or stolen beforehand.

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  • Paramedics, Occupational therapists etc. registering with the HCPC, only pay £80.00, per year. Why do nurses have to pay £100 never mind £120. It may not seem much to the NMC but they obviously earn a lot more than a nurse. How about a cut in pay for them rather than an increase in the fee for hard working and stressed nurses.

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  • Anonymous | 6-May-2014 1:09 am

    come on. just you are facing hardship it is spiteful to wish it on others. there is no need. find another way so nobody looses out!

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  • Astonishing! If only nurses had been so proactive in protecting our pay and pensions. A few quid on the registration fee and we are up in arms. A profitable pension scheme torn in pieces by the govt costing us all many many thousands of pounds and working many years longer to get smaller payouts and roll over. You couldn't make it up.

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  • NMC is not supporting the nursing workforce in anyway. The stress nursing workforce is going through, poor staffing levels compromising the 5 'C' s, nurses salary..........NMC couldn't stand up to support nurses in any of these issues and now wants to increase the annual registration fees...for what improvement they need this money? If nurses have to stand infront of NMC for fitness to practice issues then where should NMC be standing by now for all their failings and inefficiency?

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  • Absolutely disgusting. The fee should be lowered in acknowledgement of the thousands of nurses who are suffering at the hands of the NHS by having their pay bandings dropped and being expected to do carry on doing their usual duties for far less money. The NMC do nothing to help nurses, why should we be expected to pay more

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