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NMC fee hike opposed by 'blameless' nurses

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The vast majority of nurses and midwives are opposed to a 58 per cent increase in the NMC registration fee, according to separate surveys by the three biggest nursing unions.

Around 95,000 nurse members took part in the RCN, Unite and Unison surveys, which formed part of the unions' responses to the consultation on the fee hike, which will see the cost of registration jump from £76 to £120 a year. More than 99 per cent of respondents stated opposition to the rise.

RCN chief executive and general secretary, Dr Peter Carter, said: 'RCN members have clearly stated that they oppose moves by the NMC to pass on the costs of a financial crisis which is not of their making.'

Unison head of nursing, Gail Adams, added: 'A fee increase of almost 60 per cent is disproportionate, and unfairly places responsibility for the financial woes of the NMC on the blameless registrants.'

Elsewhere, the RCN survey, which received 85,000 responses, revealed that 87 per cent of nurses believe the government should contribute to the running costs of the NMC.

Meanwhile, the Unison survey, which received more than 6,000 responses, found that just 45 per cent have any confidence in the NMC. Only 55 per cent said they continued to support the idea of nurses and midwives having their own regulator.

Dr Carter added: 'Our members have been clear in their concerns about the NMC's position more generally, and will need some assurance that their registration fees are going into a well-run, robust regulator and not disappearing into an abyss.'

A spokeswoman for the NMC said the regulator was not issuing a specific response to the surveys.

'We are currently analysing the responses and will be giving a statement in due course,' she said.

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