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NMC appoints new chair

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has expressed “grave concern” over the appointment of Mark Addison as its chair.

A former non-executive Director at the National Archives, Addison has previously held several senior positions in the Civil Service, as well as roles at No10 and the Cabinet Office.

Addison is expected to take up the NMC Chair post during the autumn of this year, signing an initial contract of 18 months.

Concerns have been raised by the NMC over the appointment selection due to a perceived lack of an “open, transparent and equal opportunities process” needed to demonstrate Addison meets the high profile job specification as laid out in the recent damning NMC review carried out by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).

However Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is confident Addison has the experience and ability to turn the NMC into a “confident, capable and respected regulator”.

Addison said he was “looking forward” to his new role.

“I am looking forward to taking up the appointment of Chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council,” said Addison.

“Addressing the findings of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence report will be a big challenge.  But that report makes clear that the organisation is moving in the right direction and that the staff have the ability and motivation to manage these changes and emerge stronger. That gives a strong platform on which to build.

“I know that all those with an interest in the Nursing and Midwifery Council are concerned about its current position. I will be keen to draw upon their support. Above all, I look forward to working with Nursing and Midwifery Council members and staff to ensure the organisation is the efficient and effective guardian of public safety and professional standards that it needs to be.  That will not happen overnight, but I am confident that it can be achieved.”

Despite the NMC's concerns, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) also appears optimistic about the NMC's selection.

“We are pleased that the NMC has taken steps to appoint a credible, experienced individual who can start to tackle some of the organisation's fundamental challenges,” said Janet Davies, Executive Director of Nursing and Service Delivery at the RCN.

“We have always stated that the nursing profession needs a strong regulator, which can effectively uphold professional standards and safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public.”

Davies will seek to urgently meet with Addison to discuss the NMC's proposed fee hike from £76 to £120.