Three members reappointed to NMC Council

1 May 2019

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is pleased to announce the reappointment of three Council members, who commence their new terms on 1 May 2019.

Professor Karen Cox has been reappointed for a second term until 30 April 2023. Dr Anne Wright and Stephen Thornton have both been reappointed for a third term of 12 months, taking them through to 30 April 2020.

Philip Graf, Chair of Council, said:

I would like to congratulate Karen, Stephen and Anne on their reappointment. All have already made a significant contribution to the Council’s work. I am delighted that the Council will continue to benefit from their wisdom, experience and expertise,” he said.

For further information, please visit our Council page.


The Council is the governing body of the NMC; it sets the strategic direction for the organisation and the standards by which registered nurses and midwives must work.

The Council is made up of six members from a registrant background and six from a non-registrant or lay background and must also include members from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Council members are appointed by the Privy Council and can serve for a maximum of eight years.

Professor Karen Cox (Registrant member)

Professor Karen Cox has been reappointed for her second term on the NMC Council, from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2023. She was first appointed on 1 May 2015. Karen has been a member of the Remuneration Committee since 2016 and took over the role of Chair from April 2018.

Karen is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Kent. She has held a number of clinical posts in Oxford, Southampton, Gloucestershire and Nottingham, specialising in Oncology and Community Health Care (District Nursing).

Dr Anne Wright CBE (Lay member)

Dr Anne Wright has been reappointed for her third term on the NMC Council, from 1 May to April 2020. She was first appointed on 1 May 2013. Anne has been the Lay Vice-Chair of Council since 2013 and has been reappointed annually by the incumbent Chair. Anne was the Chair of the Midwifery Committee from 2013 to 31 March 2017, when the Committee was removed by legislative change.

Anne is a former Chair of the National Lottery Commission and served as a member of the Bar Standards Board 2012-2017. She has formerly held other non-executive roles on the School Teachers Review Body, the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, and Youth Music Theatre UK. She was Vice-Chancellor of Sunderland University from 1990 to 1998 and was appointed CBE in 1997.

Stephen Thornton CBE (Lay member)

Stephen Thornton has been reappointed for his third term on the NMC Council, from 1 May to April 2020. Stephen was first appointed on 1 May 2013.

Stephen chaired the Remuneration Committee between 2015 and February 2018. He is currently a member of the Investment Committee. Stephen has held a number of senior executive and non-executive positions in healthcare. He is a member of the Bar Standards Board and non-executive director of The Senet Group, promoting responsible gambling. He was formerly Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, the NHS Confederation, Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authority and Deputy Chair of Monitor (the independent regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts).


Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5884 or email
  2. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK. We exist to protect the public. We do this by maintaining the register of qualified nurses and midwives and setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered nurse or midwife, we have a duty to investigate and, where necessary, take action to protect the public.