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Nursing regulator launches search for new chief executive

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council is advertising for an “inspirational” new chief executive to bring a “fresh approach” to the way it works, following Jackie Smith’s decision to step down from the role.

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 is due to leave her post at the end of this month.

“We expect to announce and interim chief exec very shortly”

NMC spokesman

In an advert in The Times newspaper, the NMC said it was seeking someone “who will bring a fresh approach to the way we work”.

That person would need to be a “visible and inspirational leader both internally and externally”, the advert said.

It said the NMC’s ambition was to be “an intelligent, dynamic regulator who puts patients and the public at the heart of all we do”.

“Working in partnership with the council, you will be committed to transparency, openness and listening to the voice of those we serve, to build confidence and trust in all we do,” said the job ad.

It added: “You will bring the ability to think strategically in a high-profile public policy environment and be a credible advocate for the organisation, skilled in navigating complex stakeholder relationships at the most senior levels across the four UK countries.”

It highlighted that the role of the NMC chief executive was a “highly visible role” that required “resilience and self-awareness”.

Ms Smith has been 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.

The advert said candidates must have an excellent track record of running a complex organisation and supporting senior managers “in delivering innovation and improvement in a fast-moving environment”.

While applicants do not necessarily need to have experience in the healthcare sector, they will need to be “passionate about the commitment you can make to patients and public protection” and a good understanding of regulation is “vital”, said the advert.

jackie smith new

jackie smith new

Jackie Smith

Employment agency Saxton Bampfylde has been brought in to advise the NMC on the appointment. Applications for the role must be in by 22 August.

An NMC spokesman confirmed to Nursing Times that Ms Smith would be leaving the regulator at the end of July.

“We expect to announce and interim chief exec very shortly,” he said. The regulator’s next council meeting is on Wednesday.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Will the new chief exec be accountable for mistakes made of her teams? Will they have a healthcare background rather than a legal one?
    Will they understand fully the differences between nurses and midwives roles?!

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