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Nurse who heads RCN’s ruling body steps down amid complaints about his conduct

Council chair Dave Dawes steps down from key role as college announces investigation
Name plate at RCN headquarters – the college's council chair Dave Dawes has resigned

Dave Dawes steps down from powerful role and is suspended from council seat as college announces investigation into complaints made against him by staff and members

This article was updated on 14 July 2021

The nurse who chairs the RCN’s ruling council has stepped down after less than a year in the role, following complaints about his conduct.

Concerns raised about Dave Dawes by college staff and members will now be the subject of an external investigation, the RCN announced.

The council’s vice-chair Carol Popplestone , who was elected along with Mr Dawes in

Dave Dawes steps down from powerful role and is suspended from council seat as college announces investigation into complaints made against him by staff and members

This article was updated on 14 July 2021

Name plate at RCN headquarters

The nurse who chairs the RCN’s ruling council has stepped down after less than a year in the role, following complaints about his conduct.

Concerns raised about Dave Dawes by college staff and members will now be the subject of an external investigation, the RCN announced.

The council’s vice-chair Carol Popplestone, who was elected along with Mr Dawes in September 2020, becomes acting chair. Mr Dawes has also been suspended from his seat on the council, representing north west England, pending the result of the investigation.

Former RCN council chair Dave Dawes

‘It’s appropriate I step aside while the process goes on’

Mr Dawes told Nursing Standard he knew complaints had been made about him but has no details.

He said: ‘I’ve said it’s probably appropriate I step aside while the process goes on. It’s important it is fair and transparent.’

Mr Dawes said he was disappointed to discover the entire RCN membership had been informed that complaints had been made against him.

He added: ‘I’m happy to let the process run its course. I’m fairly optimistic of the outcome, but it is important these things are done properly.’

What does the RCN’s council do?

The RCN council is a group of 17 elected members who sit at the top of the organisation. Its powers and responsibilities include:

  • Appointing the chief executive and general secretary
  • Setting the strategic direction of the college’s activities
  • Holding the college’s management to account
  • Ensuring RCN finances are sound
  • Making sure the college fulfils its legal obligations

Source: RCN

Recent resignations at the top of the RCN

Last week, Joan Myers stepped down from her role as RCN council member for London, saying the college needs to understand diversity.

And earlier this month, college chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair resigned, saying she needed to focus on her recovery from injuries sustained in a cycling accident in April. RCN Northern Ireland director Pat Cullen is standing in while the process to appoint Professor Kinnair’s successor takes place.


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