Opinion

24 hours with Andrea Sutcliffe

04 October 2019

Andrea is chief executive and registrar of the NMC, in charge of more than 800 staff on five sites.

MY ALARM GOES OFF…

early! I try to have at least an hour to myself to catch up on emails; check the news, Twitter and Workplace (our internal social media platform); make sure I’ve read papers for the day’s meetings; and sign off anything urgent. If I’m lucky, our cat Archie will come for a snuggle.   

MY DAY IS…

usually full of meetings! It’s a real mixture. A lot of time is focused on supporting the team and helping to solve some of the issues we face. This can relate to setting standards in education, delivering our registration and revalidation services, running the fitness-to-practise programme, developing our strategy or ensuring our corporate functions such as finance are operating efficiently.    

THE NMC IS…

pretty big. We have more than 800 staff in five different offices, so I try to meet colleagues in their team meetings, join training sessions and do the welcome slot on our induction programme, which I love. It’s important people know their chief executive is a real live human being – not just a name on the health and safety notices!  

WHEN I’M ‘OOO’…

I’m often still working, meeting our partners or speaking at conferences. Today I’m heading to Belfast to visit the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council and also meet Charlotte McArdle, the chief nursing officer. As a UK regulator, it’s important the NMC works closely with all four countries, so I can be on the road quite a bit.

I also have important meetings with our partners and people affected by what we do – that can be members of the public who’ve had a difficult time with our fitness-to-practise process, nurses or midwives wanting to know more about what we do, or senior leaders in the healthcare system.  

MY FAVOURITE DAYS ARE…

when I visit services and meet nurses, midwives and nursing associates. It’s so inspiring to hear about their work and their passion for what they do. I’ve been to acute hospital wards, mental health services, learning disability acute liaison services, a police custody suite, nursing homes, primary care centres and maternity services. Last week I shadowed an advanced nurse practitioner in a community medical centre and then visited a hospice; both were amazing experiences. These visits reinforce for me why our work as a regulator is so important: making sure we support nurses, midwives and nursing associates to provide the safest, best care they can. I am so grateful to everyone who makes that possible.   

POST-WORK…

I love my job but it can take over my life, so I do need my downtime at the end of the day – partly so my husband and cat don’t forget who I am. We might settle down to watch a bit of TV, usually sport or the backlog of TV series we’ve accumulated. I’m off to bed by around 10.30pm but might sneak in a couple of rounds of gaming app Words with Friends to keep my brain sharp!

Top