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RCN council elections: college announces winning candidates

Twelve positions around the UK were contested

Twelve positions around the UK were contested

The RCN has announced new members of its ruling council today, following elections sparked by a vote of no confidence by college members in September.

Of the 12 positions contested, half were won by newly elected candidates, with the rest secured by incumbents.

The election results

  • Health Practitioner – Evan Keir [newly elected]
  • Northern Ireland – Ann Marie O’Neill [newly elected]
  • Scotland – Geoff Earl [newly elected]
  • East Midlands – Deirdre Sissons [newly 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]
  • London – Cynthia Davis [re-elected]
  • Northern – Trevor Peel [re-elected]
  • North West – Dave Dawes [re-elected]
  • Wales – Richard Jones MBE [ re-elected, uncontested]

Turnout rates for the election varied from 4.8% to 8.3% in different contests, according to the RCN.

The elected council members will take up their positions for a one-year term, beginning on 1 January 2019.

One candidate who lost out was chair of council Maria Trewern, who failed to secure re-election in the South East region. 

Strong leadership

RCN acting chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair paid tribute to Ms Trewern in a statement today.

‘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,’ she said.

The council will elect its chair, vice chair and honorary treasurer in the new year.

Challenging times

Professor Kinnair welcomed the new council members: ‘On behalf of all the staff at the college, I wish to congratulate the successful candidates, and look forward to working closely with them in 2019 on the biggest challenges facing our profession.’

RCN council comprises one representative each from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one from each of England’s nine regions.

It also includes a member to represent healthcare practitioners, and one for students. The latter post was decided earlier this month, with MSc adult and mental health nursing student Amy Fancourt elected to represent students across the UK.

No election was held in the Eastern region of England as Janice Waters was elected in October 2018.

RCN council’s remaining members include recently elected president Anne Marie Rafferty, deputy president Yvonne Coghill and chair of congress BJ Waltho.

Background to election

The previous council received a vote of no confidence at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) earlier this year. 

The EGM was triggered by a petition of more than 1,000 RCN members, who were unhappy with how the college communicated the NHS pay deal in England.


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