I’ve got the hump with the double whammy of the proposed NMC fees hike to £120 and Jeremy Hunt blocking the Pay Reviews Body’s proposed 1% for NHS workers.
At the same time, MPs will be receiving 11%, meaning an increase from around £66,000 to £74,000.
The NMC states its statutory objective is: “To safeguard the health and wellbeing of people who use or need the services of nurses and midwives”, and on the strategic vision web page: “Public protection will be at the centre of all of our activities”.
So, there we have it, nothing to do with helping the nursing and midwifery workforce. Rather, it’s protecting the public from the worst of care but nothing about driving up care standards.
So, where does the NMC spend OUR money?
“0% pay rise to the frontline should mean 0% for the regulator”
From the accounts for 2012-2013:
- Standards promotion and policy development – £2.025m
- Education – £1.395m
- Maintaining the register – £5.56m
- Fitness to practice – £47.49m
Yep, that’s right, more than five times the cost of everything else the NMC does is spent on Fitness to Practice cases! Does that not seem absurd to anyone else?
The smallest amount of all is spent on education. Perhaps, if a bit more was spent in ths area, or even just on offering help and advice to the registrants, then the public would have better nurses and the FtP costs would plummet. If the fees increase goes ahead, the total will be something like £80.4m, which seems like quite a lot of dosh for an organisation that doesn’t even have a telephone advice line!
“Just who are they consulting with to agree on the rise?”
A newly qualified staff nurse earns £21,478 for their first year but, even before they start work, 0.5% of that is taken away by the NMC for privilege of appearing on the register.
Paid up front also seems rather arcane; should we not have the ability to at least pay monthly and spread the burden? If I need to take a break for a few months or more, could I have the facility to stop paying the NMC fee, much as I do when I SORN my motorbike during the winter? After all, if I’m not working as a nurse for a period then the public do not need to be protected from me.
The NMC has announced a consultation on the fees increase, with a decision announced at the council meeting on 1st October. But, who will agree to this or is it consultation in name only?
The Royal College of Nursing are already stating, “Nursing workforce morale is at an all-time low” and together with UNISON have opposed the fee rise. Every nurse I’ve spoken to in a straw-poll has objected to the rise. So just who are they consulting with to agree on the rise?
What about linking fees to the pay rise given to nurses and midwives? 0% pay rise to the frontline should mean 0% for the regulator and they will just have to make “efficiency savings” in the same way as the frontline.
But 20%… that’s a pay rise even MPs would be proud of!
Jayne Parker is a Staff Nurse working for the NHS and living in the South East with her partner, a cat and a large motorcycle. Find her on Twitter - @jayne_parker