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RCN and Unite respond to consultation on NMC fee rise

Almost all nurses are opposed to the proposed fee hike by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), a survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has claimed.

Out of the 85,000 responses to the survey, 99.3% of RCN members voted against the NMC's plans to increase its fee by 58% to £120.

Almost nine in ten nurses (87%) also think the government should contribute to the running of the NMC with the RCN claiming the survey “clearly states” nurses do not think they should bear the sole responsibility “of bailing out the NMC”.

Yesterday, (28th August) the RCN submitted its response to an NMC consultation on the fee rise, in which it reiterated its call for the NMC conduct a full independent financial audit - something that has already been backed by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

“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,” said Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN.

“Nurses are already in the midst of a two year pay freeze and face increased pension contributions and a rising cost of living. They shouldn't have to pay almost 60% more just to maintain their livelihood.

“Our members have also 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.”

Trade union Unite has also called the NMC's proposed fee rise “unacceptable and unjustifiable” and any future increases levied by the regulator should be in line with inflation.

In its consultation response to the NMC, Unite said the NMC fee should not be increased above £86 a year on 1 January 2013.

A poll of more than 4,000 nurses showed 98% did not agree with rise in the NMC fee.

Do you think the RCN is doing enough to campaign against the NMC's proposed fee hike?