Union lobbies government over 58% registration fee price hike


UNISON is calling on the government to stop hard-pressed nurses and midwives from facing a registration fee hike.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) today announced that it will begin consulting on raising the annual fee that nurses and midwifes have to pay to work from £76 to £120 per year. The last fee increase came in 2007, when nurses were asked to pay more to allow the NMC to build up its reserves.

The union said that serious questions need to be asked about financial management at the troubled regulatory body, which has been in special measures since 2008, and has had six chief executives and three chairs in that time.

UNISON head of nursing Gail Adams said:  “Hard-pressed nurses and midwives will rightly be very angry about plans to make them pay more to work. Many of these vital health workers and their families are already struggling to make ends meet. Not only have they had their pay frozen for two years, with two more years of pay austerity on the horizon, they are also having to pay more for their pensions.

“The government cannot stand by and let the pressure keep piling onto nurses and midwives. Not only should it start applying serious scrutiny to the NMC, it must also step in and persuade the council that now is not the time to raise its fees. Health workers should not have to pay the price for the NMC’s own failures and for the government’s failure to police this body properly.”

UNISON is seeking an urgent meeting with the NMC and with ministers, and is calling on the NMC to undertake an urgent review of its financial systems. The union made it clear that it will not support the fee rise.

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