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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)

  • It means nowt. Nowt will change - NMC will carry on.

    Can it be disbanded? Will the Government put anything better in its place? More stupid questions?

    I'm still game to fight it all but....

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 26-Sep-2012 2:39 pm

    At risk of attracting some ire - I think you have every right to post 'against the flow'.

    I don't know enough about the Prof, to comment about him ad hominem - and I don't think it can be ASSUMED that everyone 'at the top' is out-of-touch, clueless and trying to not help things improve. Also, trying to improve things, and actually achieving that objective, are 2 very different things !

    It should be assessed on a case-by-case basis (although I did have some contact with the NMC, and in my case 'pretty hopeless' was my assessment; ditto the PHSO. By contrast, I've always found responses from assorted DH staff to be okay, and responses from the one GP I've had contact with during the last 35 years also good. My local PCT, hugely annoying. Police, also hugely annoying. Etc.).

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  • DH Agent - as if ! | 29-Sep-2012 3:09 pm

    people also react to the attitudes of their clients. it couldn't have been that you were annoying of course?

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 29-Sep-2012 3:17 pm

    Interesting use of the word 'client', which probably doesn't properly apply here.

    In my experience, once 'annoying' comes into things, the annoyance tends to be mutual. But it is entirely possible to strongly disagree with people, without 'annoyance' being the overwhelming factor, sometimes - but I do consider that 'perceived attitude', does often result in 'annoyance'. Exactly what attitude annoys a person, will differ from person to person - the one that most frequently annoys me, is a refusal to properly engage in discussions.

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  • "client
    n noun
    1 a person using the services of a professional person or organization.
    2 (in a network) a computer or workstation that obtains information and applications from a server. Ø(also client application or program) a computer program that obtains a service provided by another program.
    3 (in ancient Rome) a plebeian under the protection of a patrician. Øarchaic a dependant; a hanger-on.

    clientship noun

    Middle English (originally denoting a person under the protection and patronage of another): from Latin cliens, client-, variant of cluent-, cluere 'hear or obey'."

    COED 11th Edition

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 30-Sep-2012 12:29 pm

    Thanks for that - in that case, Anonymous | 29-Sep-2012 3:17 pm was definitely using the word client inappropriately.

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  • DH Agent - as if ! | 1-Oct-2012 3:47 pm

    Anonymous | 30-Sep-2012 12:29 pm

    Thanks for that - in that case, Anonymous | 29-Sep-2012 3:17 pm was definitely using the word client inappropriately

    I most certainly was not using the word client inappropriately otherwise I wouldn't have bothered posting the definition. I was actually suggesting that you as a client were probably being annoying which could provoke a reaction in others!

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