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NMC faces ‘multiple risks’ following Brexit

  • 14 Comments

The Nursing and Midwifery Council could face “multiple risks” from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, including a reduction to its income, it has warned.

NMC chair Janet Finch said yesterday that it was “more likely” that, following Brexit negotiations, EU nurses and midwives would be able to continue working in the UK, rather than there being a “lockdown” by the government on freedom of movement of workers from abroad.

But, at an NMC council meeting in London, she told council members there were risks attached to both outcomes.

“The number of nurses and midwives in this country reduc[ing] [would mean] our register reduces and therefore our income reduces”

Janet Finch

Echoing previous comments made by NMC chief executive Jackie Smith to Nursing Times, Dame Janet said if EU staff were able to continue working in the UK then the NMC would process their applications through its current system for non-EU staff.

Ms Smith has previously warned that the extra stages of checks that this system requires, in addition to the potentially far greater numbers of applications through this route from EU workers, could put a strain on NMC resources and delay the recruitment of staff by UK employers.

At the NMC meeting yesterday, Dame Janet also said there was a risk the regulator’s income – from fees – could be reduced if the number of nurses and midwives on the register decreased following a “lockdown” on freedom of movement of EU workers.

“There are two potential ways [Brexit] could go,” she told the council meeting.

“The other potential risk is that the recruitment of nurses from the EU continues but …we have to put a larger number of people through our overseas recruitment systems”

Janet Finch

“One is a lockdown of free movement so that the number of nurses and midwives in this country reduces and our register reduces and therefore our income reduces. That’s one potential risk,” she said.

“The other potential risk is that the recruitment of nurses from the EU continues but they become ‘overseas’ nurses rather than EU nurses, in which case we have to put a larger number of people through our overseas recruitment systems,” she said.

“These are the two options and probably the second is more likely,” she added.

The £120 annual registration fee is the regulator’s principal source of income. The last increase in the fee took place in March 2015, when it rose by £20.

One council member also warned a further risk to the NMC was that nurses and midwives from countries across the world could in the future choose to work in the EU instead of the UK, because it meant they could easily move between countries for employment.

Council member Quinton Quayle noted that this meant there were “multiple risks…that could affect our business”.

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith told council members the regulator was keeping “close contact” with the government over Brexit negotiations and would update the group at further meetings.

“We are right to raise this as a concern, and we are talking to the department and keeping close contact with them,” she said.

 

 

  • 14 Comments

Readers' comments (14)

  • My heart bleeds for their income, it really does.

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  • The NMC fees are already high and it has become such a bureaucratic organization over the years. I don't believe they should increase fees further. They should be looking to recruit nurses from the United Kingdom, which means focusing more on getting young people to want to become nurses and creating better incentives for them to attend University and better pay when they get jobs.

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  • Pussy

    Oh FGS NMC just come out with it and say you want to increase the fees again! Anon 3:21hrs my heart bleeds with yours!

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  • I thought the NMC was about maintaining standards, not enhancing their income by collecting fees from as many EU nurses as possible without the same checks of competence as other overseas nurses.

    We had a world class system for ensuring overseas where competent. It was called the Programme for Overseas Nurses which the NMC replaced with an OSCE exam which is not fit for purpose.

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  • I am getting more than a bit cheesed off with the Nursing Times bias about Brexit and all the attempts at whipping up hysteria. It's happening, it will be fine, of course our EU colleagues will remain welcome - let's hope the editorial staff get over it soon as it's getting tiresome. As for the NMC they just need to tighten their belts like the rest of us: plenty of room for efficiency savings there!

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  • Yay no more revalidation. Lol.

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  • Seriously? 'Brexit' will mean less income for NMC because of fewer nurses? Why would that matter? Doesn't fewer nurses mean that the NMC won't NEED as much money? Because if that £120 per person is for the benefit of the person paying it, why would they need money for non-existent nurses? Presumably this is not simple housekeeping.

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  • Agree with anon 3:21 and Pussy. Am dangerous close to death such is the amount my heart has bled for poor ickle nmc...

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  • would have been nice if nmc had mentioned, at least in passing, the potential impact of fewer eu nurses upon the ability of the nhs to deliver good quality care to patients ... and the impact upon workload, stress and burnout of those nurses left to cope ...

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  • ... and the consequent increase in risk of hard pressed nurses making mistakes that pose a risk to the public and being referred to the nmc ...

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