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Concern for NMC finances if nurses leave register because of revalidation

  • 19 Comments

Nursing and Midwifery Council members have expressed concern about the impact on the regulator’s finances if the introduction of revalidation results in a significant number of nurses opting to leave the register.

It was revealed last week that the NMC has not budgeted for a drop-off in registrant numbers this year linked to the new system of competency checks that comes into force from 1 April.

Revalidation, which replaces post-registration education and practice (PREP), will require nurses to produce evidence showing their practice is up to date before they can renew their registration every three years.

“We do need to make sure we are managing our finances to accommodate that [risk], which is why a prudent surplus is important”

Alison Sansome 

It has been suggested the requirements – which includes gathering five pieces of practice-related feedback, writing five reflective accounts and completing at least 35 hours of continuing professional development – could be off-putting for some nurses, especially those close to retirement.

At an NMC council meeting to discuss the organisation’s budget and corporate plan for 2016-17, council member Maureen Morgan said there had been reports of potentially 7% of nurses leaving the register.

The NMC’s director of registration Alison Sansome said the regulator did not recognise that figure and was “not predicting anything at that level”.

Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: “We always indicated that this would be a risk for those who would find the [revalidation] process difficult to do.

“So we anticipated there would be a number that would not revalidate because it was too difficult,” she told council members.

She later added that she thought it was “extremely unlikely” there would be a “big drop off”, but if the regulator’s monitoring data indicated this were likely to happen, then “we would need to bring that back in terms of what it does to our finances and also what it does to the workforce”.

NMC interim finance director Richard Finlayson confirmed to council members that the forthcoming year’s budget did not account for a reduction in registrant numbers.

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

When asked by Ms Morgan if a 7% drop off should be regarded as a high number, he agreed it would be “significant” – amounting to around 40,000 registrants.

Ms Sansome said previous policy changes, such as the introduction of indemnity insurance, had not resulted in people leaving the register, despite the risk.

“But there is risk [with revalidation] and we do need to make sure we are managing our finances to accommodate that, which is why a prudent surplus is important,” she said.

The NMC’s projected surplus for 2016-17 is £4.3m, according to council papers. NMC chair Janet Finch claimed a 7% drop-off would leave around £0.5 to £0.75m available as surplus.

The regulator has previously told Nursing Times that a large number of nurses leaving the register when revalidation is introduced should not be automatically viewed as a concern.

The NMC analysed registration trends to provide reassurance about the impact of the new system. The analysis showed more people usually leave in April than most other parts of the year.

 

  • 19 Comments

Readers' comments (19)

  • I don't think nurses will leave the profession due to revalidation, more likely because of the state of the NHS, poor working conditions and poor pay!

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  • And their concern is for their finances! Just about says it all.

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  • the government will be delighted

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  • The NMC has a guaranteed income of £71,000,000 and spend £55,000,000 in total of Fitness to Practice cases. (Hansard 13/03/2015) that is 77% of the income is used on 1% of registrants.
    With housekeeping like that is it any wonder the NMC have the begging bowl out yet again?
    Many of the cases should never be before the NMC as they are disciplinary cases that should have been dealt with 'in house' but employers find it cheaper to use the NMC to rid them of troublesome nurses who are quite often are whistleblowers. They may risk the cost of IT if they deal with it. The NMC do not investigated the case properly, the word of the referrer is accepted as the truth. The witnesses often have no knowledge of the nurse or where they work.
    The accused are not able to cross question witnesses (EUHR Art 6) and if they try Rule 31 is implemented once the NMC has all the information it needs.
    Nurses are GUILTY and at least 150 a month is sanctioned, which are reapplied again and again some cases going back 5 years or more years. Is it any wonder the NMC is short of money.
    Its time the NMC got itself sorted out

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  • Doremouse

    The NMC has a guaranteed income of £71,000,000 and spend £55,000,000 in total of Fitness to Practice cases. (Hansard 13/03/2015) that is 77% of the income is used on 1% of registrants.
    With housekeeping like that is it any wonder the NMC have the begging bowl out yet again?
    Many of the cases should never be before the NMC as they are disciplinary cases that should have been dealt with 'in house' but employers find it cheaper to use the NMC to rid them of troublesome nurses who are quite often are whistleblowers. They may risk the cost of IT if they deal with it. The NMC do not investigated the case properly, the word of the referrer is accepted as the truth. The witnesses often have no knowledge of the nurse or where they work.
    The accused are not able to cross question witnesses (EUHR Art 6) and if they try Rule 31 is implemented once the NMC has all the information it needs.
    Nurses are GUILTY and at least 150 a month is sanctioned, which are reapplied again and again some cases going back 5 years or more years. Is it any wonder the NMC is short of money.
    Its time the NMC got itself sorted out

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  • I agree the NMC waste money on fitness to practice cases. Most of them should not be brought before the NMC and should be dealt with at local level. Its got worse over the years and isn't getting any better. I have three years to go before I retire and can't wait. Although I do intend to revalidate this year which will take me up to retirement.

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  • The error is in part the belief that nurses are leaving just because revalidation is thought by some to be difficult. There are moral issues around revalidation regarding too much employer power (confusion with corporate approaches and NMC annex contract), subjective reflections, unnecessary business creation by unions. With a backdrop concerns to victimisation of whistleblowers and subjective judgment based on probability not fact, including the diversion away from management, this revalidation is not on a sound premise. It is not dependent on retirement age but also the increasing draconian tyranny by poor senior management and government cost cutting approach.

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  • After an initial expense, the NMC would be able to save a considerable amount of money if they moved out of London to cheaper premises in the North.
    With regards to investigation of nurses, I have to agree, having been investigated myself for 11 months, with the outcome of no case to answer. The time and money that was wasted over something that did not involve public safety and should never have gone past the first stage was no doubt considerable; little wonder they require a surplus. The NMC needs to put it's fiscal house in order and sort out it's investigative process.
    Finally, for Jackie Smith to say that some nurses would find it 'too difficult' to revalidate is appalling. The process itself is not that difficult. I feel it may be the fact that, as profession, we find the requirement to jump through hoops to prove our worth insulting. Yet again, we blindly follow the medical profession in undertaking a process which has not proved it's value. Nor is it likely to; revalidation is only worth anything on the day it is signed off and will not prevent a minority of nurses from tarring the majority with a very, very small brush.

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  • I have several colleagues retiring in the next 12 months. ALL of them have said that whereas they would have renewed their registration and continued to work part-time or bank, they won't go through revalidation. So will revalidation cost us nurses? Yes, without doubt.

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  • I agree NMC would save costs by moving out of its expensive west London premises There should be regional branches for NMC FTP cases As we latterly ,as Health Visitors, have become employed by the LA which is happening country wide its shocking what they refer or confer with the NMC over Our new managers have no clue re health profession issues they are out of their depth and rather than sometimes use common sense they resort to panic 'suspensions' pending enquiries All of course are pen pushers having never worked with patients in hosp or communities I too cannot wait to retire

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