16 January 2013
RCN: Nurses “losing confidence” in NMC
04 07 2012
Members of the Royal College of Nursing have been “losing confidence” in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for some time, Dr Peter Carter has said.
The College’s Chief Executive & General Secretary was commenting after a critical review of the regulator by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).
Dr Carter said: “The RCN welcomes this report which clearly goes to the heart of some fundamental weaknesses within the NMC. It is extremely concerning to read that the NMC has failings right across the board.”
The report comes as the NMC is consulting on proposals to increase its fees. Dr Carter said there is great concern among nurses that they are facing an increase of nearly 60 per cent during times of financial austerity.
“This is a huge increase and could not have come at a worse time, with nurses in the midst of a two-year pay freeze and facing worrying increases to their pension contributions. It seems very unfair to expect registered nurses to solely pick up the costs of the regulator’s financial failings.”
Dr Carter added that the RCN has always stated that the public, patients and the nursing profession need to have an effective, fit for purpose regulator which can effectively uphold professional standards.
He said: “The NMC must be able to deliver its core functions of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the public, and promoting high standards of professional conduct across the UK. It is vital that the NMC now appoints credible, respected leaders who can tackle the problems so clearly highlighted by the CHRE.
The news comes in the wake of a proposals by the NMC to increase the annual registration fee for nurses and widwives from £76 to £120, a near 60% rise.