Andrea Sutcliffe has been appointed chief executive and registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, it was announced today.
Ms Sutcliffe, who has over 30 years’ experience in health and social care, joins the NMC from her role as chief inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council”
She has been at the CQC since 2013, where she leads on the regulation and inspection of adult social care including residential and nursing homes and domiciliary care.
She is also responsible for the registration team supporting all health and care sectors.
Ms Sutcliffe will take over from interim NMC chief executive and registrar, Sue Killen, in January 2019.
The change follows the unexpected departure of previous permanent incumbent Jackie Smith, who stepped down from the role at the end of July.
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Ms Smith announced in May she would step down as the regulator’s chief executive and registrar after more than six years in the job.
She was credited with turning around the fortunes of the regulator, which was previously found to be failing “at every level”.
However, she has also faced criticism from some over the pace of change and more recently had to respond to condemnation of the way the NMC handled fitness to practise cases linked to the Morecambe Bay maternity scandal and deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
“She has used her passion and commitment to make a real difference to people’s care”
Speaking on her appointment, Ms Sutcliffe said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council as chief executive and registrar.
“The work of the NMC is essential in protecting the public across the UK and promoting the professionalism of nurses, midwives and in the future nursing associates,” she said.
“I am looking forward to working with the chair, council and colleagues to ensure that people are at the heart of everything we do and to secure the confidence of the public, professions and our partners that we will do the right thing and we will do it well.”
Philip Graf, chair of the NMC, said: “I am extremely pleased to be able to confirm Andrea Sutcliffe as chief executive and registrar of the NMC and I look forward to welcoming her in January.
“Andrea brings with her a wealth of experience in health and social care,” he said. “Throughout her career she has demonstrated a real commitment to putting the safety of those receiving care at the heart of her work and I know that she will ensure the voice of patients, nurses, midwives and nursing associates are at the core of what we do.”
He added: “I am sure that Andrea will provide strong leadership to the organisation as we continue to deliver significant change and as we embark on developing our ambitious new strategy for 2020-2025.”
“Andrea brings with her a wealth of experience in health and social care”
Ms Sutcliffe joined the CQC from the Social Care Institute for Excellence where she was chief executive from April 2012.
Previously, she was chief executive of the Appointments Commission and was an executive director at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for seven years.
In July 2016, in recognition of her work in social care, she received an Honorary Award of Doctor of Science from the University of Leeds.
She was awarded a CBE for services to adult social care in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.
Senior members of the CQC paid tribute to Ms Sutcliffe, where she was credited with championing the “Mum Test” to ensure the regulator’s focus was on what matters most to people using services.
She was also instrumental in bringing together a coalition of organisations and national bodies in 2017 for the launch of “quality matters”.
CQC chair Peter Wyman said: “To say that Andrea made the role of chief inspector of adult social care her own is an understatement – she is the first person to hold this role and in it, she has used her passion and commitment to make a real difference to people’s care.
“She has championed people who use adult social care, called out poor care and celebrated good care,” he said.
“We particularly welcome the appointment of someone with such wide-ranging skills”
He added: “The phrase she coined, the ‘Mum Test’: is this care good enough for your mum? – really spoke to people as a meaningful assessment of quality that was also very personal.”
Ian Trenholm, chief executive of the CQC, said: “Her commitment to ensuring the voice of people who use services is heard has been instrumental in driving improvements in care and she has helped to push the challenges faced by the sector into the public consciousness.”
In response to the appointment, Dame Donna Kinnair, acting chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “I’m very pleased to hear that Andrea Sutcliffe is to be the new chief executive of the NMC.
“Andrea has enormous experience across both the health and social care sectors, and we particularly welcome the appointment of someone with such wide-ranging skills,” she said. “I very much look forward to working with her on behalf of nursing staff across the UK.”