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RCN calls in QC to lead review of its culture after sexual harassment claims

‘We must hold ourselves to the highest standards’, says college general secretary
RCN HQ in London – the college has announced culture review in light of sexual harassment claims

Leading barrister Bruce Carr QC promises to ‘work sensitively’ with college members and staff

The RCN has announced an independent review of its organisational culture in response to ‘serious’ claims of sexual harassment.

Employment law barrister and trade union expert Bruce Carr QC will lead the review and as well as examining the allegations, he will investigate:

  • Decision-making and accountability
  • Financial management
  • Equality and inclusion
  • The management staff and elected members’ departures from the organisation
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff and elected members

The review will involve interviews with members and staff, with

Leading barrister Bruce Carr QC promises to ‘work sensitively’ with college members and staff

The RCN’s London headquarters

The RCN has announced an independent review of its organisational culture in response to ‘serious’ claims of sexual harassment.

Employment law barrister and trade union expert Bruce Carr QC will lead the review and as well as examining the allegations, he will investigate:

  • Decision-making and accountability
  • Financial management
  • Equality and inclusion
  • The management staff and elected members’ departures from the organisation
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff and elected members

The review will involve interviews with members and staff, with the findings and recommendations expected to be reported to RCN members in early 2022.

‘We must ensure our own house is in order and hold ourselves to the highest standards’

Pat Cullen, RCN chief executive and general secretary

Last week the college announced it would make its forthcoming annual congress an online-only event in an attempt to safeguard members, in light of the harassment claims.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen

Promise of a shift in culture through ‘modern’ leadership

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said the Carr review was part of her commitment to bring a shift in culture through ‘strong and modern leadership’.

‘To act in members’ best interests, we must ensure our own house is in order. We must hold ourselves to the highest standards,’ she added.

Mr Carr QC promised his review would be far-reaching and thorough.

‘I’m committed to working sensitively with those in the RCN who may have been affected by these issues,’ he added.

‘Every member, no matter their role, wants to make sure the college is fit for purpose and is a worthy professional body and trade union for nursing staff.’

The RCN has set up a free, independent 24-hour helpline for any members or staff who have been affected by the sexual harassment issue. The helpline is on 0800 783 1157.


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