Nursing regulator charity’s interim CEO resigns before starting role   

04 Jul 2024 News

Dawn Bodrick


A recently appointed interim chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has resigned before starting the role, the charity has revealed.   

Last week, NMC announced that it had appointed Dawn Brodrick as its interim chief executive and registrar after Andrea Sutcliffe decided to step down due to ill health. 

On Tuesday, the nursing regulator updated its statement, saying that Brodrick had “subsequently decided that she won’t be taking up the role”.

In a separate statement posted yesterday, NMC said it was “moving ahead urgently” with the appointment of Helen Herniman, executive director of resources and technology services, as an interim chief executive and registrar “to provide stability for the organisation”.

“As part of that we’re reflecting on what has happened over the past week and how we can improve the process,” it reads.  

Meanwhile, the Charity Commission told Civil Society that it has an ongoing compliance case into NMC and continues to engage with the charity’s trustees.

The Commission began its engagement with the charity after concerns over its governance were raised in reports by the Independent.

No ‘due diligence’ regarding Brodrick’s appointment

In a recent LinkedIn post, workforce culture consultant Roger Kline said that NMC has been repeatedly criticised in recent years for “its shortcoming tackling racism”, as revealed by the Independent

He said: “It’s therefore astonishing that due diligence didn’t apparently regard Brodrick’s central role in a landmark NHS race discrimination case as a potential concern in taking on a role where equality is claimed to be central consideration.”

Kline referred to an employment tribunal case involving Richard Hastings, a Black man of African-Caribbean origin who worked at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust between 1996 and 2015 and was dismissed for gross misconduct.  

In 2018, a tribunal found that Hastings was unfairly dismissed and “directly discriminated against because of his race” and ordered the trust to pay him £1m in compensation. 

Brodrick was chief people officer at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust between 2015 and 2020 “when she would have been central to the Trust’s decision making in response to the race discrimination claim of Hastings”, Kline said.

He added: “This was Brodrick’s last NHS role. To say that her return to the NHS as interim chief executive of the nursing and midwifery regulator is an appointment that raises questions is to put it mildly.

“The least NMC can do is to explain why due diligence didn’t flag these issues as potential obstacles to the appointment – or if they didn’t, to explain why. Did no one on the council ask any questions? Nurses and midwives deserve better.”

NMC would not comment on the reasons for Brodrick not taking up the role.

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