The Department of Health has insisted it was right to act quickly in appointing a new chair for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, following criticism from the regulator itself yesterday.
The department announced on Tuesday that former civil servant Mark Addison would be the new NMC chair. The Privy Council approved the appointment based on advice and assistance from the DH.
It stepped in after the Appointments Commission announced it would not be continuing with the recruitment process it was leading for the NMC following the publication of a highly critical report from the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.
However, the NMC’s ruling council responded to the DH announcement by saying that, while it “acknowledged” the appointment of Mr Addison, it was concerned about having his appointment imposed on it.
In a statement the council said: “The NMC council acknowledge the appointment by the Privy Council of Mark Addison as chair of the NMC.
“However, as the council of an independent regulator, they feel it necessary to express their grave concern regarding the appointment selection and lack of an open, transparent and equal opportunities process….”
The DH today responded in turn to the NMC’s comments about the recruitment process.
A department spokesman said: “Strong and effective professional regulation of nurses and midwives is crucial to public protection and confidence.
“The NMC needs the best leadership to achieve this and it is appropriate that a swift appointment was made.
“In light of the review published by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence the Appointments Commission withdrew its recruitment exercise for a chair. There clearly was a need to act quickly to bring certainty to the NMC,” he said.
He added: “Mark Addison has the skills needed to help the NMC become a confident, capable and respected regulator.”