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RCN hopes for ‘stability’ with new council chairs

RCN hopes for ‘stability’ with new council chairs

The RCN has announced that Carol Popplestone and Mel Kerr have been elected as chair and vice chair of its governing council on a two-year term.       

Ms Popplestone, who has been interim chair of the council since July, works as a clinical nurse specialist for Macmillan. She is also an accredited RCN steward, has been chair of the RCN Yorkshire and the Humber Board and was a member of the RCN Trade Union Committee. 

Ms Kerr, who is also an accredited RCN steward, works as a resuscitation practitioner at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, sits on her trust’s staff side and is branch chair for North Lincolnshire. 

RCN chief executive Pat Cullen said she looks forward to working with Ms Popplestone and Ms Kerr ‘to provide stability and clear vision’ as the RCN continues its safe staffing and fair pay campaigns.

Ms Popplestone was appointed council chair on an acting basis in July 2021 after an investigation was launched into former chair Dave Dawes’ conduct.

Ms Popplestone said: ‘During a time of great challenge for members, it is vital our College continues to provide the very best workplace representation and support. I will put members at the heart of all I do and every decision I make.’

Ms Kerr is taking over from Geoffrey Walker, RCN Council member for the South West, who has been acting as vice chair.

Ms Kerr said: ‘Now more than ever the College needs consistency to steer a course towards improvement. I believe our RCN can be truly member-led, and I want to help RCN Council to do so in everything we do.’

Their terms begin in January 2022 and conclude at the end of 2023, after election from colleagues on the council.

Rod Thomson has also been elected unopposed as honorary treasurer and Geoff Earl has been elected chair of the Governance Support Committee.

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