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CNO resignations: Scotland and Northern Ireland chief nurses to step down

Charlotte McArdle and Amanda Croft have both announced they are leaving their posts

Charlotte McArdle and Amanda Croft have both announced they are leaving their posts

The chief nursing officers of both Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced they are stepping down from their posts.

Chief nursing officer (CNO) for Scotland Amanda Croft is standing down for personal reasons, after less than a year in the role, while Northern Ireland’s CNO Charlotte McArdle is moving to NHS England.

Concerns over instability amid ‘unprecedented pressure’

Nursing and midwifery bodies expressed dismay at the timing of Professor McArdle’s departure, amid concerns about nursing shortages and staff morale across Northern Ireland.

Charlotte McArdle and Amanda Croft have both announced they are leaving their posts

Chief nursing officers Charlotte McArdle (left) and Amanda Croft, who are stepping down
Moving on: chief nursing officers Charlotte McArdle (left) and Amanda Croft

The chief nursing officers of both Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced they are stepping down from their posts.

Chief nursing officer (CNO) for Scotland Amanda Croft is standing down for personal reasons, after less than a year in the role, while Northern Ireland’s CNO Charlotte McArdle is moving to NHS England.

Concerns over instability amid ‘unprecedented pressure’

Nursing and midwifery bodies expressed dismay at the timing of Professor McArdle’s departure, amid concerns about nursing shortages and staff morale across Northern Ireland.

A joint statement from RCN Northern Ireland and the Royal College of Midwives Northern Ireland said: ‘To lose such an experienced leader when our services are under unprecedented pressure from a pandemic will cause significant instability to the nursing and midwifery professions.’

Professor McArdle was appointed CNO for Northern Ireland in 2013. Aside from the COVID-19 crisis, she also faced the challenge of the three-year collapse of the Northern Ireland government and the first strike by RCN nurses in the college’s history.

New role on England chief nurse’s team

In a short post on social media Professor McArdle said she was looking forward to joining England CNO Ruth May’s team as deputy CNO for patient safety and improvement.

Northern Ireland’s health minister Robert Swann congratulated Professor McArdle on her new role, saying: ‘She leaves her Northern Ireland role with nursing and midwifery university places at their highest-ever level and a clear plan to stabilise the workforce through the Nursing and Midwifery task group report.’

Interim arrangements for Scotland CNO post

The Scottish Government said Professor Croft, who was appointed CNO for Scotland in December 2020, is stepping down for personal reasons.

Her role will be covered by the deputy chief nursing officer’s team until 4 October, when Alex McMahon – currently executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at NHS Lothian – will take over on an interim basis.

Scotland’s health and social care secretary Humza Yousaf thanked Professor Croft for her hard work. ‘Since taking up the role she has played a key part in our response to the pandemic and has brought enormous knowledge and experience to the role,’ he said.


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