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NMC Chair resigns following "challenging" months

The Chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has resigned from his post after an “extremely challenging” few months.

Professor Tony Hazell, who joined the regulator in 2009 as the first publicly appointed NMC chair, will step down from his role at the end of March.  

He said he was “committed” to providing continuity of leadership and support through a “difficult phase” for the NMC, but felt “the time is now right” to move on.

Professor Hazell follows the resignation Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes from his post as Chief Executive of the NMC

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, Anne Milton, ordered a 'strategic review' of the NMC in Parliament on the 27 January, following reports its fitness to practice processes remain “below the standards expected”.

The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) will undertake the review and is expected to report back by early summer.

“In the last few months we have completely reassessed our work to ensure that everything we do is focused on our primary purpose: protecting the public. I believe that we are already making significant progress in this direction,” said Professor Hazell.

“The strategic review announced by the Department of Health and currently being undertaken by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), will, I am sure bring further clarity to the NMC's role and purpose.


“The past few months have been extremely challenging but I am confident that the organisation is now going in the right direction and will continue to do so under the excellent leadership of the Acting Chief Executive, Jackie Smith.

"For these reasons, I feel that the time is now right for me to step down from the role of chair.”

NMC Council members have nominated Professor Judith Ellis MBE, Executive Dean for Health and Social Care at London South Bank University and a current registrant member of Council to succeed Professor Hazell as Deputy Chair until a new appointment can be made. 

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter, thanked Professor Hazell for his work at the NMC and said he “looked forward” to working with Ellis during a “crucial” time for the regulator.

Question: Are the changes in leadership at the NMC causing you to lose faith in the regulatory body?