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New chair for RCN council

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Royal College of Nursing chair of council Professor Kath McCourt is stepping down after eight years in the post.

Michael Brown, currently council member for Scotland, has been elected as her successor by members.

Council member for the South West of England, Lorrae Alford will serve as vice chair. She received the same number of votes for the post as council member for the south east Rachel Greaves, however Ms Greaves withdrew from the contest.

The RCN council is responsible for setting the organisation’s strategic direction, ensuring financial stability and holding senior management to account.

Following the elections, Ian Norris will continue as chair of the nursing policy and practice committee after being relected unopposed. Anne Wells was elected chair of the membership representation committee, Kevin Bell to chair of the governance support committee and David Harding-Price honorary treasurer.

Professor McCourt, who has served the maximum term for a chair of council, said: “I wish Michael and his fellow officers all the very best in their stewardship of council over the next two years. 

“Nursing is under huge pressure and our members need the RCN more than ever. A strong Council team is hugely important to ensure that we listen to and act on the voice of our members and support the nursing community.”

Mr Brown has a background in stroke care and rehabilitation and has been an activist since 1992. He was involved in the implementation of Agenda for Change.

He said: “I am delighted to have been elected as chair of council for the next two years, and it is with a great sense of pride that I take on this role.

“Our council and executive team must be strong, listen to and engage with all of our members and always act in the best interests of nurses, members and our patients to ensure we rise to the challenges facing nursing over the coming years.”

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