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RCN elects new chair and vice chair

Dave Dawes and Carol Popplestone


The new chair and vice chair of the RCN Council have been elected, the College announced today, following a double resignation by the previous post holders.

The news comes after former chair Dee Sissons and vice chair Richard Jones stepped down within days of each other last week, amid growing scandal around the suspended RCN election.

Newly elected chair Dave Dawes has a long history of being involved in the RCN, first serving on the Council almost 30 years ago, while vice chair Carol Popplestone is a clinical nurse specialist for Macmillan and accredited RCN steward.

Mr Dawes said: ‘I’m confident I can help steer the organisation through the immediate challenges it faces, so we emerge stronger and focused on the priorities that matter most to members.

‘The RCN works best when it listens to and speaks for all our members and I will be starting that direct dialogue straightaway.’

Mr Dawes’ four priorities are:

  • creating a cohesive team on the Council
  • rebuilding trust between the RCN Council and the executive directors;
  • rebuilding trust between RCN members and the executive directors;
  • And re-establishing the authority of the RCN Council in the eyes of the membership.

Mr Dawes is also currently the commercial director for Future Care Capital, a charity looking at the challenges facing the health and social care systems in the 21st century, and a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also chair of the RCN North West Board.

Ms Popplestone was a member of the RCN UK Stewards Committee from 2013 to 2016, and was previously a member of the RCN Trade Union Committee and as chair of the RCN Yorkshire & the Humber Board.

She said: ‘I’m committed to listening, learning and responding to what members tell us so we are truly representative of the nursing profession.’

The pair were elected to the roles by their colleagues on RCN Council. Their terms of office begin immediately and will conclude at the end of 2021.

RCN chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair announced yesterday that the RCN will rerun the presidential elections after the two remaining candidates dropped out.