An NMC spokesperson has said that a change in legislation concerning Fitness to Practice (FtP) procedures could lead to a reduction in registration fees.
Speaking to Independent Nurse, she said: 'If the legislative change happens and we reduce the number of FtP referrals, then we hope this will lead to a reduction in the fees. However, itI could take a few years to feel the benefits of the change.'
The NMC wants a change in current regulatory legislation, which would allow them it to reduce the number of FtP referrals which that progress to a final hearing. According to the organisationregulator, the average cost of each hearing is £13,000, which itthey says significantly affects the cost of registration fees.
The NMC cites the example of the GMC's regulatory procedure as an effective way to reduce the number of referrals that go progress to the a final hearing stage. The GMC has the power to agree undertakings or give warnings at the end of the investigation stage, which reduces the number of final hearings required. The GMC receives over 10,000 referrals a year, compared withto the NMC's 4000. However, only 241 of the GMC's referrals progressed to the final stage in 2013-14, while the NMC held 1756 final hearings.
The NMC have has released a position statement on legislative change. The statement emphasises the effect the change in legislation could have on nurses and midwives, saying: 'Our fitness to practice caseload continues to rise. Without the means to be able to deal with all our cases in the most appropriate and proportionate manner, if referrals continue to increase further fee rises will be necessary in order to protect the public.'
The NMC's recent increase in fees , provoked outrage from nurses and midwives, many of whom are already struggling financially due to the government's decision to freeze pay.
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