RCN 'serious concerns' about nurse regulation cost

The RCN has 'serious concerns' about the cost of a scheme requiring those who work with children to pay £64 to register.

Dr Peter Carter (Photograph: Steffan Hill)
Dr Peter Carter (Photograph: Steffan Hill)

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is to be implemented from 12 October and stipulates that anybody who works or volunteers to work with children or vulnerable adults to register as part of the vetting and barring scheme.

The £64 fee is in addition to the £73 cost for Nursing and Midwifery Council registration.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘Nurses and other healthcare workers will be the first to recognise that the protection of children and vulnerable people is of paramount importance.

‘However, the RCN has serious concerns about the cost of the scheme, the impact on volunteers, and crucially the duplication of regulation and potential unfairness of the barring process and appeal procedures.

‘This duplication will not only be costly, with nurses having to pay for NMC registration as well as ISA registration, at a cost of around £137, but may also be contradictory, with complaints to two separate bodies resulting in different outcomes.

‘We are particularly concerned that the barring process may be unfair, without adequate safeguards against ill-founded allegations, and leaving nursing staff with no effective right of appeal.'

The ISA was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for the Home Office, which is responsible for the ISA, said: ‘The UK already has one of the most advanced systems in the world for carrying out checks on all those who work in positions of trust with children and vulnerable adults.  The new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) will ensure these regulations are even more rigorous.

‘We are working closely with all of the health sector regulators and other healthcare industry bodies to ensure that they have all the assistance they need to implement the scheme from October.

‘Registering with the ISA involves a one-off application fee and can be transferred with the individual when they change job.

"The Vetting and Barring scheme only looks at the suitability of an individual to work with children and vulnerable adults.  The NMC ensures staff are properly qualified and competent to work in the UK, so there is no duplication of work."

 

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