Nine out of ten nurses at the RCN Congress believe that patients should not be charged for accessing general practice.
Yesterday, nurses debating the topic in Liverpool voted against the resolution, "This meeting of RCN Congress believes that a fixed fee should be charged for GP appointments." which was suggested by Andy McGovern as a way to start a debate on NHS funding.
Nurses revealed worries that vulnerable people would be deterred from seeking medical help.
The resolution was voted against by 91% of nurses attending Congress.
Dr Peter Carter said this "reaffirms" the RCN's belief that the NHS should be free at the point of delivery, based on clinical need.
He said: “Charging patients for GP visits is a controversial issue – one that goes to the heart of what the NHS is and should be. The future funding of the NHS is shrouded in uncertainty and we need clear direction from our politicians about the way ahead so that clinicians and commissioners can plan for the future.
“As the General Election approaches, the public need to know where the parties stand on this vital issue.
“Nurses are passionate about protecting the health service and its founding principles but they know that it faces challenges, that its finances are finite and so they will continue to address the difficult questions.”