The Nursing and Midwifery Council is likely to take a major step next week towards giving nurses and midwives the option of paying the annual £100 registration fee in instalments.
At its latest meeting next week, the nursing regulator’s council was due to discuss the possible introduction of new rules, which would enable the NMC to collect fee payments on a phased basis as well as the current lump sum.
Council members are expected to agree to hold a public consultation on amending the NMC’s legislation in order to allow the move to go ahead.
An NMC spokeswoman said: “If they make the decision to proceed, a formal consultation will take place throughout the summer, with any rule changes coming into force in spring 2015.
“A period of systems and policy development will then take place, after which a system of phased payments will be introduced,” she said.
Council papers released ahead of the meeting on Wednesday stated that the Department of Health had “indicated its support” for the NMC to move towards introducing the option of phased payments in 2016.
“We are committed to developing this facility, which we know will be welcomed by registrants,” the NMC said in the document.
However, the papers also provided the council with an update on the unpopular proposals to increase the registration fee to £120 from March 2015. The consultation on the planned increase closes on 31 July. As at 11 July, the NMC said it had received 4,329 responses.
“Through August, we will be analysing the results and reviewing the narrative feedback before bringing forward proposals to the council in October 2014,” the papers stated.