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NMC welcomes appointment of four new Council members

Read more about the appointments

Four new members will join the Council on 1 October 2020. Dr Lynne Wigens and Eileen McEneaney will join as registrant members, with Eileen being the member for Northern Ireland. Anna Walker and Sue Whelan Tracy will join as lay members. Due to the Covid-19 emergency, the new appointees will take office in October 2020, rather than 1 May as originally planned.

The appointments by the Privy Council follow an open, competitive recruitment campaign.

Chair of the Council, Philip Graf said:

"I am delighted that we have found four talented new colleagues to join the Council. Eileen, Lynne, Anna and Sue all share our values of being kind, fair, collaborative and ambitious and will bring a wealth of expertise as we take forward our new 2020-2025 Strategy.

“The value of our nursing and midwifery professionals has never been clearer and I am inspired daily by the efforts I see from our registrants. I know our new colleagues will be a real asset, as the NMC continues to support our registrants to deliver safe and effective care and protect the public.

New Associate member scheme

The Council is also introducing a new scheme that will give two registrants the opportunity to participate in the work of the Council and develop their strategic leadership skills by working alongside appointed Council members for up to two years.

Announcing this innovative new scheme, Chair Philip Graf said:

“This new initiative will give two registrants an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of what being a Council member involves and help them develop the strategic leadership skills to be a Non-Executive Director. 

"I particularly welcome interest in these opportunities from midwives and from midwifery and nursing registrants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.” 

Recognising the immense pressure on all our professionals right now, we will begin the search for suitable candidates later in the year. In the meantime, those interested can find more information here or get in touch with Annabel Fish at Saxton Bampfylde (annabel.fish@saxbam.com).

Council reappointments and extended terms

Four Council members have also been reappointed to serve a second term from 1 May 2020: Ruth Walker MBE, a registrant member from Wales, and lay members, Derek Pretty, Marta Phillips OBE and Sir Hugh Bayley.

Four members due to leave at the end of April have had their terms extended until 30 September: registrant members, Maura Devlin, MBE and Lorna Tinsley and lay members, Stephen Thornton, CBE and Dr Anne Wright, CBE.

Chair of the Council, Philip Graf, said:

"Ruth, Derek, Marta and Hugh have already made a significant contribution to our work and I am delighted that the Council will continue to benefit from their experience and expertise.

"I am also indebted to Maura, Lorna, Stephen and Anne for agreeing to continue to serve until September 2020; their wisdom and insight will be invaluable during these challenging times.”

A full list of current Council members, their terms and biographies can be read here.

Notes for editors

1. The Council is the governing body of the NMC. It is made up of 12 members, including at least one from each of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. Six Council members must be lay members and six must be current registrants.
2. Council members are appointed by the Privy Council following an open, competitive recruitment and selection process. More information about the Council and how it works can be found here.
3. More information about the Associate scheme can be found here.

The four new Council members designate are:

Eileen McEneaney (Registrant, Northern Ireland)
Eileen is a Registered Nurse, and currently Executive Director of Nursing and User Experience in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. She leads the professional delivery of Nursing and Midwifery care across Acute, Community, Maternity, Mental Health, Learning Disability and Public Health services to a population of approximately 470,000. Eileen commenced nursing in 1981 and in the last 20 years has held senior operational roles in Northern Ireland across a range of services and settings. Eileen is a Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholar and she will be the designated member from Northern Ireland when she takes up office in October.

Dr Lynne Wigens (Registrant)
Lynne’s career has spanned over 40 years in the health service within clinical care, management and education, including Director of Nursing roles within Acute, Community and Commissioning organisations. She is Visiting Professor of Nursing at the University of Suffolk. Having recently retired from her role as Regional Chief Nurse for the East of England, Lynne has returned to regional working during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lynne is also a Trustee of the Royal Osteoporosis Society.

Anna Walker, CB (Lay)
As an experienced Non-Executive Director and former Chief Executive of the Healthcare Commission, Anna brings experience of leadership and delivery across a range of different essential sectors including healthcare, rail, water, energy and telecommunications. Anna’s current roles include being a Non-Executive Director at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Chair of the St George’s Hospital Charity; and a member of the Competition Appeals Tribunal.

Sue Whelan Tracy (Lay)
Sue brings leadership and digital transformation experience as well as a consumer and customer focus from both the public and commercial sectors. Following a successful banking career, Sue served as a Commissioner at the, then, Independent Police Complaints Commission. Her current roles include being a Non-Executive Director of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust; and a Trustee of ExtraCare Charitable Trust.


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