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Former NMC chief paid £80,000


The former chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council was paid almost £80,000 when he stood down, it has emerged.

The regulator’s annual report, published last week, revealed Professor Weir-Hughes had received a total payment of £199,675 during 2011-12, including £77,500 described as “contractual pay in lieu of notice”.

The payment appears to be equivalent to around half of Professor Weir-Hughes’ annual salary.

The NMC announced in January that Dickon Weir-Hughes had resigned with immediate effect, following a period of sick leave.

The regulator told Nursing Times the payment was in line with its contractual obligations to Professor Weir- Hughes.

The NMC is currently in the middle of considering whether to introduce deeply unpopular plans to increase the registration fee to £120, in order to cope with the increasing cost of its fitness to practise functions.

Nursing Times has estimated that Professor Weir-Hughes pay off would cover more than 1,000 registration fees under the current £76 rate.

Since his departure, the role of chief executive has been filled on an interim basis by Jackie Smith but no permanent replacement has yet been appointed.

The previous leadership at the NMC was heavily criticised by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence in its review of the regulator earlier this year, which noted that the relationship was poor between Professor Weir-Hughes and former chair Tony Hazell.

Unite lead professional officer Dave Munday told Nursing Times the news would be “galling” for registrants who were already unhappy with how the NMC had been managing its own finances.

He added: “To the majority of nurses that’s three year’s pay.”


Readers' comments (27)

  • Hahaha! And he wondered why he got an almost universal slating whenever he said anything on here? I bet those fancy professional ego boosting publicity photos cost a pretty penny too! Fee hike my arse! THIS is what your extra £50 - 60 whatever it will be a year will go on people, and if you are stupid enough to pay it, then quite frankly you deserve 'leaders' like good old dickon.

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  • Excuse me?

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  • very troubling news .. and totally unacceptable in my view for payment of this kind to be made

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  • Totally appalling >:-(

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  • This is the real world of executive posts. It is just that we don't hear about it. The higher management levels in every organisation, NHS or otherwise, will have terms and conditions that bear no relation to the Agenda for Change that we are all employed under. This payout to DWH, is small change in comparison with the fat cat business(eg; bankers), that will still get 'millions' if they fail. Just think of every NHS CEO who resigns 'before they are pushed', when a Trust is in trouble. They will get a pay off, we just don't hear about it. Pay is the biggest bill in the NHS (well, in any organisation), but high level posts will negotiate their own terms and conditions where those on Agenda for Change just have to take what we are given. Don't be fooled that local pay will benefit the majority of NHS posts, it will only be used to make sure that the biggest bill for staff (those on the ground floor so to speak), is kept as low as possible. This should be a warning to all the unions that we must fight to retain what terms and conditions we stiil have.
    As an aside, the next thing will happen is that nurses will have to work more than a 37 hour week... for, of course, the same money or less than we get already. It is an unfair world when having to make 'cuts'. The rich will still often, get richer and even if they don't they have enough money already so if they make less money, it only makes a dent in their lavish lifestyles, (already beyond the expectations of the normal population), rather than real hardship like the poor when they have less money.

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  • Typical, rife through out the nhs. Executives getting megga bucks at the expense of poorly paid nurses....DISGUSTING!

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  • To be fair, it must take a certain amount of skill to take a productive organisation with an anuual turnover of millions of pounds and a clear mandate and destroy it to the extent that all the senior staff leave and it's no longer fit for purpose.

    I bet not everyone can do it

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  • It does seem excessive but that is the going pay for someone at his level. He came from a job where he was earning a similar amount.

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  • What more can we expect, I recommend you all read George Orwell's Animal Farm, just another part of the 'fat cat culture'. Of course nurses should pay more,the new NMC lead will need a new leather swivel chair, redesigned office , 3 smart phones, business lunches and dinners at the best restaurants, a company car etc. I am sat eating my luch on a clapped out stool and I cycled to work in the rain and will certainly work over my hours for no pay. But do I begrudge the NMC another £50 a year........damn right I do!!!

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  • The government should close down the NMC...thats it.....a total F up....

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