Government offers £20 million grant to the Nursing and Midwifery Council

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter has today announced that the Government has offered the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) a one off grant of £20 million to improve the NMC’s performance. The Government expects that this support will allow the NMC to protect nurses and midwives from the full impact of a proposed registration fee rise of almost 60 per cent.

The NMC is an independent body responsible for the regulation of nurses and midwives, including dealing with complaints and fitness to practise hearings. It has an important role in protecting patients.

Nurses and midwives must register with the NMC in order to work in the UK. Annual registration currently costs every nurse and midwife £76 per year. The NMC has recently consulted on increasing its annual fee to £120. This would mean nurses and midwives would have to pay an extra £44 every year, at a time of significant pay restraint in the public sector.

The Government expects that this grant will provide the extra financial support required for the NMC to properly tackle a backlog of fitness to practise cases, as well as to allow it to reduce the effect of a fee rise for hard-working nurses and midwives.

The offer comes after a period when the NMC has experienced many years of financial and performance difficulties. This year, under new leadership, the NMC has already begun to make improvements to its operations and financial management, but much more still needs to be done.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said:

“I am pleased to be able to offer £20 million of support to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, because the NMC is an important body with an important role to play in protecting patients.

“Following a period when we have heard of so many terrible abuses in the care of older people and vulnerable patients, it is important that organisations like the NMC are in the right shape to properly perform their job of protecting patients.

“I am also mindful that in these times of pay restraint, it is not right that hard working nurses and midwives are burdened with the full financial cost of improving the NMC’s fitness to practise function.

“We want to support the council and its new leadership in getting back on its feet financially and operationally, and I hope that it will accept our offer.”

This one off grant will allow the NMC to address its historic backlog of fitness to practise cases and ensure it meets fitness to practise performance targets.

It is a decision for the NMC Council whether or not to accept the Government’s offer of a grant.