New council members have today been elected for the Royal College of Nursing after previous representatives were forced to step down by a vote of no confidence.
Twelve people have been selected including six newly elected candidates and six who retained their posts.
The overhaul symbolises the start of a new era for the college amid calls for it to become more member-led and transparent following a row over RCN’s handling of the 2018 pay deal campaign.
The controversy led to members passing a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the college and for the council to stand down during an extraordinary general meeting in September.
The council consists of one representative each from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one from each of England’s nine regions, as well as a separate member to represent healthcare practitioners.
There is also a council member to represent students, who was elected separately earlier this month.
The chair, vice chair and honorary treasurer will be elected in the new year from within the council.
The full list of council members elected is:
- Health Practitioner – Evan Keir [newly elected]
- Northern Ireland – Ann Marie O’Neill [newly elected]
- Scotland – Geoff Earl [newly elected]
- Wales – Richard Jones MBE [ re-elected, elected uncontested]
- East Midlands – Deirdre Sissons [newly elected]
- London – Cynthia Davis [re-elected]
- Northern – Trevor Peel [re-elected]
- North West – Dave Dawes [re-elected]
- South East – Heather Mercer [newly elected]
- South West – Geoffrey Walker [newly elected]
- West Midlands – Sue Warner [re-elected]
- Yorkshire and the Humber – Carol Popplestone [re-elected]
Professor Dame Donna Kinnair, acting chief executive and general secretary at the RCN, said congratulated the candidates on behalf of the college.
“The field of candidates was exceptionally strong and the college is fortunate to attract people with such broad experience to these top roles,” she added.
Dame Donna offered her “personal gratitude” to those council members whose terms of office ended this month and gave special recognition to former chair Maria Trewern.
She said: “Above all, I wish to thank wholeheartedly Maria Trewern for chairing council this year and steering the college through a time of great challenge and change.
“Any candidate who is disappointed today must know that, in whatever capacity they continue to serve the RCN and fellow members, their work is greatly appreciated,” she said.
Dame Donna added: “The nursing profession faces some of the most significant challenges in a generation and this council will oversee the launch of fresh campaigning efforts by the RCN to attract people into nursing, arrest the decline in workforce supply and enshrine safe staffing levels in law in every part of the UK.”
Turnout rates varied from 4.8% and 8.3% in different contests.
Individuals elected today will begin a one-year term of office on 1 January 2019.
Elections opened on 21 November, closed on 11 December and 34 candidates stood for positions across the UK.
The council also consists of a president, deputy president and chair of congress.