NMC OFFERS NURSES INSTALMENT OPTION ON PAYING ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEES The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is asking nurses if they would like the option to pay their annual £100 registration fee in instalments. Under current rules, the fee must be paid in one go. The regulator would need to change its legislation to introduce phased payments. The NMC said frustration at being unable to break up the payments has emerged as a ‘consistent theme’ in its research and consultations, and nurses have said making a single payment can be difficult. A consultation, launched last week, will seek views on the legislative changes that would be needed and will gauge the demand for payment by instalments. Respondents to the consultation are being asked four questions that include: Would you choose to pay in two six-monthly payments, four quarterly payments or 12 monthly payments? NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said: ‘We are determined to introduce the ability to pay the registration fee in instalments as soon as we can, making

it easier and less burdensome for nurses and midwives.’ The changes would allow instalments by direct debit and registrants would


have 14 days to pay if they missed an instalment. If they still failed to pay, the NMC could then remove them from the register. The NMC is consulting on phased payments following pressure from the Commons health select committee, which has said in the 21st century the regulator should be able to offer the option to registrants. The consultation runs until October 3. To take part, visit pxa3kvh. The NMC will also decide in October whether to raise its annual registration fee to £120.


The RCN will begin lobbying European Union politicians and officials in the autumn to exclude health services from a controversial free trade agreement being negotiated between Europe and the United States. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal would allow private American companies to take over UK services, cut rates of pay and introduce less favourable working conditions in the NHS, says the college. Gay Lee, a nurse and activist for the Keep Our NHS Public campaign, proposed a resolution that was passed at RCN congress in June asking the college’s governing council to lobby against the inclusion of health services in the TTIP. ‘Part of the TTIP involves an investor-state dispute settlement, which means that private companies would be able to sue for millions if a future government ever tried to renationalise health services,’ she said.

Draft code is ‘patronising’ and too long, says RCN A proposed new code of practice for nurses drawn up by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has been criticised as ‘prescriptive and patronising’ by the RCN. In its response to the NMC consultation on the draft code, which closed last week, the college says the document is too long and includes unnecessary detail, such as the need for nurses to check patients’ nutrition and hydration. ‘You would not write a code for finance directors stating that they must be able to do sums,’ said RCN head of policy Howard Catton. ‘I would hope you would instead focus on guiding principles such as honesty and integrity.’ The Unite union, which was also among the 1,700 organisations and

individuals to respond to the online consultation, praised the language and tone of the code but criticised its length. So too did the Council of Deans of Health (CODH). Unite said the length and detail of the document meant it was less likely practitioners would remember its content, while the CODH warned that the detail could mean the code may ‘need to be revised frequently in order to stay current and risks the code becoming ever-longer as more specifics are bolted on to it’. The NMC has also held focus groups as part of the second phase of its consultation. The first phase, held between January and March, concentrated more on the regulator’s plans to introduce revalidation for nurses and midwives.

Revalidation, which is intended to replace post-registration education and practice (PREP), will require registrants to confirm their fitness to practise every three years by demonstrating they have met the principles of the code. Responses to the consultation on the new code will be analysed by research company Ipsos MORI. Following this, an evidence review and a series of recommendations will be presented to the NMC council in December. The regulator will then decide whether to approve final drafts of the code and the revalidation guidance. The revised code is due to come into effect early next year and revalidation is to be introduced in December 2015.

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College lobbies to keep NHS out of EU-US trade deal.

The RCN will begin lobbying European Union politicians and officials in the autumn to exclude health services from a controversial free trade agreemen...
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