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NMC chair quits


The chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council is to stand down in what will be the third high profile resignation from the troubled regulator since December.

Tony Hazell joined the NMC on a two year term in January 2009. His term of office was extended for a year in December but in a statement Professor Hazell said he felt the time was “now right” for him to step down.

He will be replaced on a temporary basis by Judith Ellis, a registered nurse and executive dean for health and social care at London South Bank University, pending a permanent appointment.

The NMC is currently subject to a strategic review by its own regulator, the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence. The review was launched following the departure of chief executive Dickon Weir-Hughes at the beginning of the year due to ill health.

Professor Weir-Hughes’ resignation followed that of director of standards and registration Roger Thompson, in December.

The regulator has faced repeated criticism for failing to get on top of its workload of fitness to practice cases.

Professor Hazell said the review would “bring further clarity to the NMC’s role and purpose”.

“I have been committed to providing continuity of leadership and support through a difficult phase for the NMC and to get the organisation back on track,” he said.

“In the last few months we have completely reassessed our work to ensure that everything we do is focused on our primary purpose: protecting the public. I believe that we are already making significant progress in this direction.

“The past few months have been extremely challenging but I am confident that the organisation is now going in the right direction and will continue to do so under the excellent leadership of the acting chief executive, Jackie Smith. For these reasons, I feel that the time is now right for me to step down from the role of chair.”

Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said: “An effective, fit for purpose nursing regulator which can uphold professional standards, is vital for the public, patients and the nursing profession. Judith Ellis is a highly experienced professional, with an impressive track record and I look forward to working with her during what is a crucial time for the organisation.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Professor Hazell well for the future and to express my thanks for his work during his tenure at the NMC.”


Readers' comments (10)

  • And they still have the cheek to demand £76 a year. JOKE.

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  • If nurses are suspended they are not allowed to leave the register until their investigations are finished. How come this does not apply to senior staff of the NMC as well?

    It seems the NMC is now being run by temps!

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  • It is a continuing worry that this body is not fit for purpose

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  • Rats and sinking ship me thinks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • i agree with tipperary tim - what sort of message is this to anyone, let alone student nurses coming into the profession. it doesnt bode well.

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  • I think we should be having a 'vote of no confidence' and open this Pandora box to find out exactly what is going on. Having said that I expect we will just sit back, wait and accept 'whatever'.

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  • I think the whol.e NMC needs to hit the road as all they do is create work for themselves to justify their high salary In Ireland there are maybe 6 people who work for the board of nursing in California which has a population of 40 million there are 280,000 rns and only 50 board of nursing employees so why is the NMC so large and bloated?

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  • Anonymous | 21-Mar-2012 1:44 am

    their telephone staff in registry could do with some training as well as they can't even answer queries in a civil and informative manner.

    As soon as someone answered the phone last time I called and gave my name, to my surprise, instead of a friendly greeting or at least some sort of polite acknowledgement I got a sharp 'can't take your call as our computer is down and I can't take your PIN to call up your details'. Friendly and very off putting greeting and I was calling from abroad. I managed to get her to hang on long enough to tell her my query was general and she didn't need my details, I was calling from abroad, and would like an answer because I couldn't call in again later as she suggested. I did get half an answer to my query to muddle through with without bothering to contact them again.

    After considerable reflection I cancelled my registration at the end of year in favour of a European registration and better uses for for my fee. I wrote a brief and polite letter to say I wished to cease my registration as I no longer required it and received a terse standardised letter in reply pointing out I couldn't resign if I had an ongoing enquiry, and then a further equally dry one a few weeks later explaining how I could rejoin, etc., both signed by Weir Hughes. A small word of thanks appreciation would have been good and perhaps the first letter reserved for those to which it applies, but presumably this would cause extra work and costs to sort out which nurses were pending enquiry and which had an unblemished career!

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  • i think its about time the nmc got a shake up and entered the 21st century...
    myself and my colleagues have never got a straight answer when we have requested information or clarification. plus i know of 2 nurses who they 'lost' from the register (their fault entirely) and then did nothing to find their registration and were rude and unhelpful when the poor souls begged for help...
    i think we should get rid of the whole lot of them and start again.

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  • maria gillott

    good idea. the GNC system was better! and I have no idea what happened to the UKCC and why they disappeared or, for that matter, the ENB which seemed to be responsible for post-qualification education and training which was more standardised.

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