Midwifery Council hires Atkinson to top PR post

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has hired its first director of external and corporate affairs as part of a wider expansion.

Sharon Atkinson, head of communications at the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), will start her new role in October.

Atkinson arrives at the NMC as the issue of employing medical staff from abroad continues to generate media interest.

The body’s register of 660,000 nurses and health professionals in the UK is one of the largest professional registers in the world, according to head of communications, Stuart Skyte.

He said: ‘More than 40 per cent of people coming on to our register are from overseas, which is a huge logistical problem. Each application must be considered individually and we have to get evidence of their backgrounds.’

Atkinson, who will report to chief executive Sarah Thewlis, will be charged with raising awareness of regulations that exist to protect the public and building stronger links between the NMC and the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

The NMC has grown from having 130 staff two years ago to more than 200 now. The range of issues handled by the body has been expanded to include incompetence, whereas previously it was obliged to deal only with misconduct issues, according to Skyte. It now also monitors courses for nurses and midwives.

Before joining the CSCI, Atkinson was at the National Care Standards Commission and has also worked at Fleishman-Hillard and the Government Information Communications Service.

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