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Nursing and Midwifery Council consults on a £20 annual fee rise

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced that they will be consulting on a £20 fee rise for members. This would see the current annual fee rise from £100 to £120 from March 2015.

The consultation will run from May to July. The council will then decide on the registration fee in their meeting on the 1 October this year.

A spokesperson from the NMC said that the consultation was required to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to voice their opinion.

However, a number of organisations and unions have expressed dissent at the proposed rise in fees.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said that this was another blow to nurses following the government's decision to deny them a small pay uplift for next year.

'Many nursing staff will also, rightly, be sceptical that this consultation will end in anything other than approval for the unfair rise.' he said.

'It is important that nursing has an effective regulator, and this is in the best interests of nurses as well as patients. However, the NMC simply cannot expect to use hard-working nurses as a quick fix for its ongoing financial problems. When an organisation which has a guaranteed source of income demands a 60 per cent increase in fees over two years this is a sign of some serious financial mismanagement and nurses should not be bearing the brunt of that.'

Christine McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, said: 'It beggars belief that the NMC should even consider asking nursing staff to pay such a massive increase in fees. The family budgets of many nurses and midwives are under severe financial pressure and one more bill to pay can all too easily tip them over the edge-especially, as it comes on the back of last week's pay announcement.

'Public protection is everyone's business and the full financial burden shouldn't fall to registrants alone. The NMC should explore other avenues to cover the cost which is the main call on its finances, including more advice and guidance to registrants to act within their code of conduct with greater confidence.'

When the NMC first announced its intentions to consult on a fee rise, a petition was set up by Stephen Iwasyk, a mental health liasion nurse from Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust, to say no to the proposed fee rise. The petition closed on the 5 February 2014 and attracted over 97,000 signatures.

To submit your views to the consultation visit: www.nmc-uk.org

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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