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Regulator urged to start CEO hunt

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The NMC has still to set out the process for appointing a new chief executive to replace outgoing incumbent Sarah Thewlis, after she announced her intention to resign last month.

In an open joint letter to the NMC last week, the RCM, the RCN, Unison and Unite called on the council to spell out the appointment process for a new chief executive.

The letter, which was circulated last week at a special NMC council meeting to discuss the way forward following the recent highly critical report from the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, emphasised that the appointment process
in respect of a new chief executive remains ‘unclear’.

‘We would urge council to consider how the NMC can secure the best talent with the necessary leadership skills to deliver on the action plan and secure the future of the NMC. We would recommend that council, as part of this process, gives serious consideration to an external appointment,’ the letter says.

‘Registrants need to be confident that a leadership team is in place that can successfully manage the NMC going forward,’ it continues.

Ms Thewlis has so far failed to set a date for her departure from the regulator and was unable to attend the special council meeting last week, choosing instead to take her annual leave.

In a parliamentary debate on the regulator, also held last week, health minister Ben Bradshaw said he agreed
with the letter urging the NMC to consider an external appointment to the chief executive post.

Unison’s head of nursing Gail Adams said that in order for the NMC to move forward it needed to appoint a new chief executive as soon as possible.

‘We are in a sad, yet fortunate, position,’ she said. ‘Due to strategic health authority and general NHS reorganisation there is a good pool of senior managers who would have the capacity to apply for the role and who are used to dealing with complex organisations.'

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