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NMC president resigns along with chief executive and registrar

Nancy Kirkland (pictured), president of NMC, and Sarah Thewlis, chief executive and registrar, have announced their intention to resign from NMC following publication of the findings of the CHRE expanded performance review of the NMC.

Commenting on her decision, Sarah Thewlis said: "Although CHRE's report identified some weaknesses in the NMC, it did not criticise individuals. However, as the chief executive and registrar who has led the NMC since 2002, I share responsibility on behalf of the executive management team." 

Nancy Kirkland commented: "CHRE's report makes very tough reading for the NMC. Although the report identifies the NMC's strengths, I am concerned that some of the weaknesses identified appear to directly contradict CHRE's own performance review in March.

"In their recommendations to the NMC, CHRE have stated that collectively and individually office holders and other Council members should accept responsibility for the current difficulties and for their future resolution.

"As a registered nurse, I was very proud to be elected as president of the NMC in October 2007. However, it was a concern to me to learn that there were long-standing systemic problems in the organisation.

"Although I have only been president of the NMC for a short time (eight months), I share and take responsibility for the criticisms made by CHRE and I feel honour bound to do so. I therefore intend to resign as president of the NMC in order to maintain public confidence in the NMC and the important work the organisation continues to do to safeguard the health and wellbeing of patients and the public.

"I look forward to the CHRE recommendations being implemented as a matter of urgency."

A date on which Nancy Kirkland's resignation will have effect has yet to be determined. She will remain a member of the NMC's governing council as the elected nurse registrant member for Scotland.


Related article: NMC fails to protect the interest of the public, says watchdog

Did Nancy Kirkland do a good job? What do you think?  Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"How nice they can both walk away and slink in to a new high-paid job. If a nures was as incompetent they would be removed from the NMC register. Why are they both not facing diciplinary action if not criminal investigation? Who knows this may come when the extent of the NMC incompetence is brought to light." - Steve Williams, Wales

"They most certainly did NOT do their best. The NMC is a ramshackle shambles from top to bottom, presided over by smug individuals collecting six-figure salaries on the backs of underpaid and overworked nurses. Not only does its incredible incompetence endanger the public through allowing unsafe nurses to continue working - it also extends to wrecking the careers of genuinely safe ones. 'Tough at the top'??? Get real. These people have had their collective snouts in the trough and ego-tripping without any accountability at nurses' expense for YEARS." - David Watters, Basingstoke

"I admire her for wanting to resign. As a qualified nurse I put my trust in my union RCN and the NMC. I am sure that she and her colleague did their best. The decision remains with them, as the saying goes - it can get tough at the top." - Elizabeth Carr, Bolton PCT, Hawwood Med Centre