On 26 January 2012, I announced to the House that the Government had commissioned the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) to conduct a strategic review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The review has been published today and a copy has been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.
Strong regulation of nurses and midwives is crucial to ensure public protection and, as the CHRE report shows, effective leadership within the NMC is key to this. The Government will be seeking urgent assurances that the processes which are in place for the appointment of a new NMC Chair are robust, given the importance that strategic leadership will have for the future performance of the NMC.
I would like to thank the CHRE for its work. The Government expect to see the NMC implement all of the recommendations that have been made.