The Care Quality Commission chief inspector of adult social care Andrea Sutcliffe has been appointed the new chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ms Sutcliffe, who joined the CQC in October 2013, will take on the role at the nursing watchdog in January 2019.

She replaces former NMC chief Jackie Smith, who resigned from the NMC in May, a time when it was heavily criticised for its handling of the Morecambe Bay maternity care scandal.

Andrea Sutcliffe stepped up as acting chief executive at the CQC following the departure of Sir David Behan earlier this year, before its new chief joined.

She has become known for championing what she called the “Mum Test” in regulation social care providers to ensure CQC was focused on what matters to people using services.

Ms Sutcliffe said: “I am very sad to be leaving CQC after five challenging but very rewarding years. It has been a great privilege to be the first chief inspector of adult social care and I would like to thank everyone for their support.

“Working with colleagues across the organisation, past and present, and in coproduction with the public, providers and our partners we have achieved a great deal in the last five years. There will always be more to do, but I know that the strong team I work with will continue to drive improvement for people who use services.”

CQC chair Peter Wyman said: “To say that Andrea made the role her own is an understatement – she is the first person to hold this role and in it, she has used her passion and commitment to make a real difference to people’s care.

“She has championed people who use adult social care, called out poor care and celebrated good care. The phrase she coined, the ‘Mum Test’: is this care good enough for your mum? – really spoke to people as a meaningful assessment of quality that was also very personal. She will be much missed but I congratulate the Nursing and Midwifery Council on an outstanding appointment.”

Among other issues raised during her time as chief inspector, she has highlighted the need to bolster the workforce, and the need for the NHS to pay more attention to its impact on care staffing.