Ms Highton says one of her first priorities is to support local government members in their strike action on 16 and 17 July over pay. She will also be devoting some of her time to the African Heart Foundation project, a charity which funds heart operations for people across Africa.
She said: ‘In this country we often take our national health service for granted. In Africa, the vast majority of people who get heart disease are condemned to a slow and agonising
death. Everybody deserves good health, and this project will go some way to making that ultimate goal possible.’
Ms Highton, who started in the NHS in 1975 as a domestic, was previously vice president of Unison and has been a member of the union for thirty-two years. She will hold the position for one year.