The NMC has expressed 'grave concerns' about the way in which its new chair, appointed last month, was selected.
The DH has confirmed that Mark Addison, currently non-executive director at the National Archives, will take up the post in autumn for an initial period of 18 months. Mr Adams has previously held several senior positions in the Civil Service, as well as roles at Number 10 and the Cabinet Office.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said Mr Addison had 'the experience and ability' to turn around the beleaguered regulator, which was heavily criticised in a strategic review by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence earlier this month.
'I will make sure he gets all the support he needs in the task of improving the organisation,' Mr Lansley added.
However, a statement by the NMC said that although it acknowledged Mr Addison's appointment, it had 'grave concern regarding the appointment selection and lack of an open, transparent and equal opportunities process to demonstrate how this person meets the specifications for the Chair laid out in the CHRE report'.
It continued: 'In the interest of stability, the Council will work with Mark to continue building public and professional confidence in the NMC as an effective and efficient regulator, focusing on our key regulatory function, the protection of the public.'
The RCN welcomed the appointment of a 'credible, experienced individual', and said it would seek a meeting with the new chair as a matter of urgency, to discuss a proposed 58 per cent increase in the NMC registration fee.
On his appointment, Mr Addison said he was looking forward to the role. 'Addressing the findings of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence report will be a big challenge,' he said.
'But that report makes clear that the organisation is moving in the right direction and that the staff have the ability and motivation to manage these changes and emerge stronger. That gives a strong platform on which to build.'