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RCN deputy president resigns

Yvonne Coghill steps down two months before the end of her two-year tenure  

Yvonne Coghill formally announces her resignation – efffective immediately – from a role she has held since January 2019

RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill has announced her resignation from the role.

In a statement, Ms Coghill said the decision to resign was a difficult one : ‘It was a huge honour to have been elected by the membership to represent you as your deputy president and it is with great sadness that I step down from the role two months before my term comes to an end.

‘This has been a difficult decision for me, but one I believe I have had no choice but to make following events during the summer.’

Yvonne Coghill formally announces her resignation – efffective immediately – from a role she has held since January 2019

RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill
RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill. Picture Barney Newman

RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill has announced her resignation from the role.

In a statement, Ms Coghill said the decision to resign was a difficult one: ‘It was a huge honour to have been elected by the membership to represent you as your deputy president and it is with great sadness that I step down from the role two months before my term comes to an end.

‘This has been a difficult decision for me, but one I believe I have had no choice but to make following events during the summer.’

Resignation follows series of RCN leadership resignations in the past few months

Ms Coghill’s resignation comes at a tumultuous time for the RCN with a series of resignations in the college’s leadership in the past few months.

There has also been a dispute between the membership over disqualifications of candidates in the RCN’s presidential election.

Two of the candidates, incumbent president Dame Anne Marie Rafferty and Stuart McKenzie, were disqualified for breaching RCN election rules in August.

The disqualifications related to the use of RCN resources, in this case social media platforms and virtual branch meetings, during the election.

The election process was suspended and an extraordinary general meeting of the RCN was called for by the membership over the issue. A meeting will be held on 27 November, with the RCN president election pending until the outcome.

RCN general secretary says Ms Coghill has been an ‘outstanding ambassador’

Ms Coghill was one of the candidates in the suspended RCN presidential election, but has told Nursing Standard she is not now planning to stand for the position.

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair paid tribute to Ms Coghill: ‘Yvonne has been an outstanding ambassador not only for the RCN, but also for all those involved in nursing, particularly those from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.'

Speaking to Nursing Standard about her future plans, Ms Coghill said she would work to support nursing and the RCN in the future, with a particular focus on helping BAME nurses, through the new NHS Race and Health Observatory.

Ms Coghill’s term as deputy president was due to end on 1 January 2021, with Tracey Budding, who won the 2020 RCN deputy president election, set to take over the role. There are no plans for a caretaker role before that date.

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RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill’s formal resignation statement


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