August 7 – The nursing regulator has been told to call in external auditors as complaints mounted about proposals for a 60 per cent hike in registration fees. Nursing unions won backing from health secretary Andrew Lansley yesterday as he fired off a letter to the troubled Nursing and Midwifery Council demanding a rethink.
The NMC says it has been hit by a huge increase in referrals amid concerns about quality of care standards.
Mr Lansley told the NMC: “If, following consultation, the NMC decides to press ahead with a fee increase, it must be able to assure itself and, most importantly, its registrants and the wider public that such a decision is made on a sound financial basis.
“I believe it is vital that the NMC seek independent verification of its case for a fees rise, taking into account the lessons learned from the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence strategic review about previous failings in financial management.”
Three unions, the Royal Colleges of Nursing and of Midwifery and Unison said they are working together to demand rapid improvements at the NMC.
In a joint statement, they welcomed Mr Lansley’s intervention.
They say: “The NMC is presenting our members with a fee rise of nearly 60 per cent. This is not a situation which the nursing and midwifery professions can tolerate.
“The proposed audit needs to be carried out swiftly and its recommendations taken on board.”
Source: Englemed Newsroom