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RCN Council to stand down following vote of no confidence

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Council has announced 12 of the 17 members will step down following the vote of no confidence passed last week.

The College announced that formal elections will start next week, with the aim of new Council members starting in January 2019.

Of the 17 members of the current Council, the RCN confirmed that 12 will leave their post.

Of the five not standing down, three include the president, deputy president and student Council members, all of whom have their terms in office ending at the end of 2018.

In addition, the chair of Congress will not be stepping down, as they only joined the Council in August 2018. Similarly, the RCN Council member for the Eastern region will also remain as they have yet to take up their post.

The current incumbents will all remain in post until the end of the year to ‘provide an effective transition for the College’.

In a statement, the Council said: ‘Following the results of the EGM vote of no confidence, the RCN Council is today announcing it will be standing down. While the EGM vote of no confidence was advisory, the Council recognises the moral weight of the vote, and has acted accordingly.

‘Formal election processes will begin next week, with elections taking place as soon as possible, and a new Council taking up office on 1 January 2019.’

Acting RCN chief executive Dame Professor Donna Kinnair paid tribute to the outgoing Council.

She said: ‘The last two months have been some of the most challenging in the organisation’s history.

‘Our elected Council members have taken a difficult decision and have shown great personal integrity. I wish to thank Maria Trewern, chair of RCN Council, for her leadership and all Council members who gave loyal service.

‘The College is already changing to ensure it engages the full breadth of its membership. A new elected Council and a permanent chief executive and general secretary will bring that fresh perspective and energy.’

The removal of the Council follows a vote of no confidence at an emergency general meeting, which was put forward by RCN members after inaccuracies were discovered in the RCN’s dissemination of information on the NHS pay deal.

An independent report into the RCN's reporting of the details found that members 'were not fully informed' about the deal, and accused former chief executive Janet Davies of 'closing down scrutiny and questioning' of the deal. Ms Davies resigned from her post at the end of August.