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Professional Nursing Committee

The committee responsible for the RCN’s professional work

The RCN’s Professional Nursing Committee fulfils a vital role in helping the RCN to achieve its purpose as a royal college. The committee is the decision-making body of the RCN on professional issues and provides leadership on the work of the RCN in this area. It is accountable to RCN Council.

 

Updates from the Professional Nursing Committee 

Report to members

Our most recent PNC meeting took place on 28 April.

I started with an update on the meeting that PNC members and I had with RCN Chair of Council Carol Popplestone last week. We look forward to receiving the updated terms-of-reference for PNC.

Our podcast Nursing Matters now goes out monthly. We will be recording a special episode for Nurses’ Day on 12 May and plan to take an in-depth look at nursing in politics later in the year.

We were pleased to hear that the substantive RCN Director of Nursing position – a crucial role at the college - will be advertised shortly. We received updates on Congress and the re-opening of our library and heritage centre at RCN HQ in London.

We looked in detail at the specific areas of work for which the committee provides governance and oversight.

An important next step in developing the RCN Professional Framework will be the recruitment of a project lead. The work of the professional practice workstream, looking at the definitions of nursing, with a planned review of the principles of nursing practice, will be the foundation for the remaining workstreams and important pieces to support the wider programme.

There is an urgent need for the Staffing for Safe and Effective Care (SSEC) programme to consolidate the work completed last year on the RCN’s Nursing Workforce Standards, and to ensure they are being used within the college to define our position - as a Royal College – on safe staffing.

The recently formed expert reference group supporting the SSEC – which includes PNC members – has agreed to meet more regularly. It will commission work enabling us to build on the Workforce Standards to take a stronger position on staffing levels and to develop a series of staffing ‘red lines,’ essential for our members working in this safety critical profession.

Work to develop a new shared  RCN/RCNi education, learning and development portal is well underway, and we look forward to seeing the first phase of this work launched later in the summer.
The development of a new RCN Research Strategy has been a priority for the committee for some time, and we are determined that this work will be completed in 2022, working closely with the Research Society as well as the team in the nursing department. 

A significant Review of RCN Forums and Networks took place in 2021, including a huge amount of work from many forum steering committee members and others. The need to properly support and resource the forums, and to develop a consistent model for networks is understood within the college and work is underway – in consultation with PNC and the chairs of the Forums Governance Group and Forum Chairs Committee – to strengthen the recommendations of the review. We look forward to presenting the report to Council in the coming weeks. 

The final element of our review of our work plan centred on our role in shaping the RCN’s national and international policy influencing work. We agreed to trial a series of dedicated ‘deep dive’ discussion spaces where PNC members with expertise/interest in particular areas would be given the opportunity to contribute to a more in-depth discussion than is possible in our business meetings.

As part of our consideration of the RCN’s ‘big five’ priority programmes we were given an update on the RCN’s organising work, and the development of the RCN organising model. We discussed how this is as relevant to our professional work as it is to  as our trade union activities. We received a written update on the Independent Health and Social Care Sector Strategy.

Having been asked to review a paper on clinical imaging referrer guidance, the committee agreed its position that registered nursing associates should not be IR(ME)R referrers as the assessment and planning of care is outside of their scope of practice, as defined by the NMC. Following earlier concerns raised by the Nursing Support Worker Committee and others on the blurring of the boundaries between registered nurses, and nursing associates, we confirmed our intention to develop a position statement to build on that published last year in relation to role substitution. 

We scrutinized an update to the RCN’s position on Simulation-based education and made suggestions for strengthening and clarifying this position ahead of expected consultation from the NMC later this year.

Finally, we were joined by Deepa Korea and Sarah McGloin from the RCN Foundation, who gave us an update on wide ranging work of the Foundation, as well as a ‘sneak preview’ of a campaign they are supporting to be launched on Nurses Day and which highlights the diversity and value of the role of modern nursing and midwifery.

Key Messages PNC 23/03/22 This week the Professional Nursing Committee came together in a hybrid meeting, with some members meeting at the RCN headquarters for the first time for more than two years.

We were joined by Helen Whyley, who is continuing to act as Executive Lead for the Nursing department alongside her role as Executive Director for Wales. We thanked her for her continued work in this role, whist plans are progressed for the recruitment of a new Director of Nursing. The committee acknowledged the difficulties of the current position, the need to move to recruitment, and the mitigations that have been put in place until an appointment can be made.

The Committee signed off the high-level Work Plan agreed at our strategy day in January, and subsequently recommended to RCN Council. Staffing for Safe and Effective Care remains our highest priority. Also agreed as critical is our work on a Royal College of Nursing Professional Framework. Implementation of the Education, Learning and Development Strategy, the development of a Research Strategy, and the review of the Forums and Networks, all remain important elements within our work programme alongside national (and international) policy influencing. We received updates on a number of these workstreams during our meeting.

We were updated by Wendy Preston and Alison Leary on the progress so far on the Professional Framework. Sally Bassett, Chair of the Forum Chair’s Committee is the member lead for workstream 1, which focusses on professional practice, and she gave us an update on their work exploring definitions of nursing, and a planned review of the Principles of Nursing Practice.

We were pleased to hear of the progress of the Education, Learning and Development Strategy from Nicola Ashby who summarised the actions being taken to secure the planned ‘Go-Live’ date for the education portal. An update on risks was discussed and acknowledgment of mitigations in place.

Helen Whyley who leads the Staffing for Safe and Effective Care programme gave an update from the 4 countries. Committee members highlighted the extremely difficult position faced by nursing teams across all settings. Shortly after our last meeting the report on the nursing workforce was published through the SSEC programme. This report shows how the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated existing, long-standing issues with health and care workforce supply and retention. https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional development/publications/staffing-for-safe-effective-care-labour-nursing market-2022-uk-pub-010-108

Helen reminded members of our current survey asking members about staffing levels on their ‘last shift’ and we agreed to promote this through our own networks – including RCN Students and Nursing Support Workers. The survey is open until Sunday 27th March, with many members having responded so far. https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/news/uk-how-were-staffing-levels on-your-last-shift-090322 

The Committee discussed and agreed a proposal on to convene an expert panel of senior RCN members and staff expert in workforce planning to review evidence and steer new work on standard setting and influencing by the RCN.

Lara Carmona briefed us on the progress of the Health and Care Bill towards legislation, and the outcome of RCN lobbying for a range of amendments to the Bill, in particular those related to workforce, and workforce planning. https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/news/uk-health-and-care-bill-update 030322 

The Committee was joined by Bridie Kent, who was welcomed as the new Chair of the Forums Governance Group, and alongside Sally Bassett we received an update of the review of the Forums and Networks. PNC agreed to the categorisation of recommendations into those which require further work and then approval by either Council or the Executive team, and those which can be implemented as soon as possible.

The committee received and reviewed the Forums Annual Report. We acknowledged the significant amount of work that has been achieved through the forums despite the challenges of the pandemic. Sally updated us on the most recent strategy day for the Forum Chairs, and work being undertaken collaboratively across the forums which contributes to the professional work and profile of the RCN.

The Committee was reminded that this is the final year of the Strategic Research Alliance with Sheffield University. We were provided with information of some of the outputs of this alliance. An independent evaluation is to take place, and we sought assurance that this will capture information on the effectiveness and impact of the alliance, and the learning from the research undertaken.

Staffing for Safe and Effective Care

The ‘Staffing for Safe and Effective Care’ programme is the Committee’s highest priority in our policy work and is of particular importance given the unsustainable pressures our members are facing in all sectors of health and care, and the risks to both patient safety, and staff safety and wellbeing. The work to advocate and lobby for the sustainable expansion of the nursing workforce, for demand led workforce planning, and for accountability for that workforce to be enshrined in legislation continues across all four countries of the United Kingdom Throughout 2021 we have had detailed reports from all four countries on the policy position, and the progress towards a legislative framework (or lack of progress in the case of England and Northern Ireland).

In May we launched the ‘Nursing Workforce Standards’ which apply across all health and care settings – wherever there is a nursing workforce. The standards set out our expectations as the Royal College of Nursing in relation to the planning and provision of the nursing workforce. They are central to the campaign for staffing for safe and effective care. PNC members have presented the standards, alongside RCN staff colleagues from the nursing department, and regional teams in a wide range of settings. We have collaborated on the development of resources for RCN members and their representatives; we are determined to use the standards to advocate for positive change at the policy, regulatory, and organisational level – in all settings. 
The nursing workforce crisis has deepened as the year moved towards its close. Whilst ensuring that resources and support are available to members on the website, and through RCN Direct, we recognised the need to campaign more actively and effectively on the central demand for staffing for safe and effective care, recognising the need for greater public engagement, and to ensure that we demonstrate how we can, and should, be part of the solution in addressing this long standing, but increasingly acute, crisis. This will remain central to our work plan, and we agreed that a separate ‘think tank’ event would be convened, early in the new year, to include expert members from across the UK to further test and develop our position. This will be followed by the PNC strategy day in January when we will further review this critical area of our policy and professional advocacy work.

 

Protecting and valuing the role of the Registered Nurse

One of the products of the current nursing workforce crisis has been the increased evidence of role substitution; this includes the substitution of Registered Nurse roles with nursing associates, and opening nursing roles to other registered health professionals, including nurse leadership roles. In June of 2021 we published the position statement on ‘preserving safety and preventing harm – valuing the role of the registered nurse’. This statement called for all employers working within health and social care to ensure that where a vacancy exists for a registered nurse, this is open to registered nurse applicants only. It set out our expectation that all employers, regardless of sector, should develop robust workforce plans, in line with our Nursing Workforce Standards, and taking into account the nature of the role, service demand and skill mix.  It highlighted the impact and critical importance of strong nurse leadership. We identified an item which had been accepted on to the 2021 Congress agenda on ‘the erosion of the role of the registered nurse’ (a matter for discussion from the General Practice Nursing Forum) which would align to this position. At the end of 2021 we recognised the need to strengthen this position as well as supporting increased lobbying and influencing activity in this space, and this will be taken forward early in 2022. The Committee supports the current petition calling for the protection of the title nurse in law and the question of nursing roles and titles will be taken forward through our work on a Royal College of Nursing Professional Framework.


Professional Framework 

This significant piece of work is underway under a programme board whose leaders include PNC member Professor Alison Leary and RCN Fellow Felicia Cox. It will build on and update existing resources and guidance to co-create our Royal College professional framework for nursing today. It has three defined workstreams: ‘What is Nursing’, essential to articulating the value of nursing; ‘Levels of Practice’ and a ‘Career Framework’. 

One element of the Career Framework looks at routes into nursing including the Prince of Wales Cadet Scheme which launched in England in 2021.  Many cadets have gone on to careers in health and care settings and interest in this scheme is considerable.  


Education Learning and Development Strategy

The new strategy was launched at the RCN Education Forum conference in April 2021. It was a critical piece of work for the committee, as both a requirement of our Royal Charter, and because we know that education and professional development is one of the top priorities for our members in all sectors. Dr Sue Haines was co-chair of the Task and Finish Group which oversaw the detailed development of the strategy and included members from key committees, the professional forums, and the RCN Fellows. Sue is now co-chair of the joint programme board, which is overseeing its implementation, with continued membership input from an inclusive expert reference group.

The first year of the strategy has focussed on ‘making good’ current provision and laying the path for implementation and delivery.  A quality assurance framework has been agreed for all educational resources, which are mostly found on the professional development and ‘clinical pages of our website, as well as through our library. Whilst there is a huge amount of great content available, this may not always be visible or easily accessible to our members. One of the key deliverables for the strategy is the development of a new ‘portal’ or doorway to enhance and improve access. 

During 2021 PNC Committee members Professor Julie Green and Professor Alison Leary supported the RCN response to the NMC’s proposals on post registration standards, and our position that Specialist Practitioner Qualifications should be retained, highlighting their particular importance in community settings. 

In England the merger of HEE into NHSE raises a very real concern that the loss of the independence of HEE could raise the risk of students continuing to be used by service without the focus on quality of education. We will be watching this carefully alongside our colleagues on the RCN Student Committee. We have also agreed to the development of an RCN position on the increased use of simulation in learning.


Research Strategy

Education and Research are closely linked and both key responsibilities for the Committee. In 2021 we agreed with the Research Society on the need to develop a Research Strategy for the RCN. Unfortunately, although some early work got underway during the year, this work has not progressed in recent months due to competing priorities. A Deputy Director of Nursing with responsibility for Education Research and Ethics will be appointed to the RCN in early 2022 who will lead this work, alongside the Research Society and others from our expert membership.  


Forums and Networks Review

The 35 professional forums make an important contribution to the professional work of the RCN. Their work is not always visible to the wider membership or aligned with the strategic objectives of the College. An array of networks has developed over the years and are not all formally identified within the governance framework of the organisation. There are varying models of their development and ways in which they function; some are linked to a forum, while others may report to a regional board or country.  Both forums and networks both provide an opportunity for members to network, share best practice and lead the development of knowledge within specialist areas of interest.

A task and finish group was established by PNC early in 2021 to undertake a review of the forums and networks. The group was comprised of members, including forum chairs, and staff from the nursing department. The review was completed at the end of August 2021, with the final report received and agreed by PNC in December. 

The aim of the review was to look at how the work of forums and networks, underpinned and supported by a robust governance framework, could be optimised and the professional profile raised to greater effect. The review was undertaken through four main workstreams, supported by a communications and engagement working group:

- Purpose and role 
- Governance processes and functions
- Effective ways of working
- Support to forums and networks

The report made 27 recommendations, which having been agreed by PNC will be taken forward through RCN Council and the Executive team in early 2022. The report and recommendations will then be published to the wider membership.


Collaborative Working

The strength of the RCN is in its twin functions, as professional body and Royal College, and special Trade Union. As one of the two principal committees of the RCN, accountable to our governing Council, we work closely with colleagues on the Trade Union Committee and the two committees met together formally for the first time in 2021. We will be continuing joint working in key areas as we move into the new year. The complexity of nursing as a safety critical, knowledge intensive profession has been central to the RCN’s campaign for fair pay, terms, and conditions, and PNC is represented on the UK Pay Programme Board to strengthen the professional case. 

RCN members are everywhere, and we know that many work outside the NHS, in social care, in independent health services and in the voluntary sector. As the RCN continues to develop its strategy for the independent health and social care sector, PNC is represented on the joint programme board by Mary Codling. The Nursing Workforce Standards, which apply in all settings, are being taken forward through this work too.

As the RCN develops an organising model to support members looking to make positive change in the workplace, I have represented PNC on the interim board, to ensure that this approach incorporates the breadth of professional issues that matter most to our members, and our identity as a professional body as well as a trade union.


Ways of working

We are determined to find better ways of communicating our work to RCN members, and externally. After each meeting we send out ‘key messages’ to members, which are posted on our pages of the RCN website, but we recognise the need to find more and different ways of talking about what we do and will be working more on this in 2022. We will continue with our ‘Nursing Matters’ Podcasts, where we talk about a range of professional issues, and we always welcome suggestions for topics and guests. 

Underpinning our work as a committee is a recognition of the need to ensure that we follow and promote within the RCN core principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Committee development sessions this year focussed on how we bring the principles and practice of inclusive leadership to our governance role within the RCN.

Nursing Matters Podcast

The RCN Professional Nursing Committee produce a twice monthly podcast, Nursing Matters, to unpack nursing news, discuss professional issues and interview RCN members at the forefront of developing nursing practice and the profession. Listen to Nursing Matters.

The Committee

The Professional Nursing Committee has 14 members: one member each from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one from each of the nine English regions: East Midlands, Eastern, London, North West, Northern, South East, South West,  West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber. They are elected by members in their country or region.

The remaining two members are from the Student and Nursing Support Worker (Health Care Assistant and Assistant Practitioner) membership categories and are elected by the members of those groups.

You can find out more about the role and remit of the RCN Professional Nursing Committee by reading the terms of reference.

Rachel Hollis Professional Nursing Committee

Rachel Hollis FRCN - Chair

Member for Yorkshire and the Humber, January 2022 - December 2025

Rachel Hollis is Honorary Nurse Advisor for Children’s Cancer in the Leeds Children’s Hospital at the Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust. Rachel trained originally as a Registered General Nurse in London before going on to become a Registered Children’s Nurse in Leeds where she spent most of her professional working life.

Rachel is a children’s cancer nurse, and has played an active role in the development of children’s cancer nursing, and children’s cancer services, at the national level in the UK. She represented the RCN on the Guidance Development Group for NICE ‘Guidance on Improving Outcomes in Children and Young People with Cancer’ (2005). She went on to represent the RCN on the NHS England Clinical Reference Group for Children and Teenage Cancer.

Rachel is a past Chair of the former Paediatric Oncology Nurses Forum and was the first Chair of the Children and Young People’s Specialist Care Forum. She was made a Fellow of the RCN in recognition of her contribution to the nursing of children with cancer. Rachel has a particular interest in international health care and is a member of the nursing group within the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). She is a Trustee of ‘World Child Cancer’, a charity which works to support twinning programmes and capacity building in a number of low- and middle-income countries. Rachel and the team in Leeds are actively involved in supporting a children’s cancer programme in North West Cameroon.

Rachel is also a Trustee of Young Lives vs. Cancer, the UK’s largest charity supporting the families of children with cancer, and lobbying for improved services nationally.

Outside of work Rachel enjoys travel and walking; often combining the two. She has the Yorkshire Dales and Moors on her doorstep, and travelling further afield has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice! 

PNC.YorksandHumber@rcn.org.uk

Siobhan Donald

Siobhan Donald - Vice Chair

Member for Northern Ireland, January 2020 - December 2023

Siobhan is currently the Interim Assistant Director of Nursing at the Public Health Agency, having stepped in to this interim role following five years as Commissioning Nurse Consultant. Prior to her time at the Public Health Agency, Siobhan held a number of roles within Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, from staff nurse through to assistant service manager. Within the RCN, Siobhan has served on RCN Council and is currently a member of the Public Health Forum Steering Committee.

PNC.NorthernIreland@rcn.org.uk

Fiona Sommerville

Fiona Sommerville

Member for Eastern, January 2020 - December 2023

Fiona’s 16-year nursing career has included; working in wards, practice development and clinical practice education at Southend University Hospital. At present she is Clinical Practice Educator and in this role she supports students, newly qualified and overseas nurses. She also works clinically in Post-op Recovery, which enables her to keep in touch with patient care while working with nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

As part of an MSc in Medical and Clinical Education, she researched the experiences of overseas nurses working in the UK, which has assisted in overseas nurses OSCE training.

She advocates the use of simulation for nurses and inter-professional learning. As Clinical Practice Educator, she has developed courses for newly qualified, overseas nurses and multi professionals both at the hospital and also within her secondment to Anglia Ruskin University.  

PNC.Eastern@rcn.org.uk

Sue Haines

Sue Haines

Member for East Midlands, January 2020 - December 2023 

Sue is Assistant Director of Nursing (Professional Development, Education and Workforce) at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), she leads the Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Clinical and Professional Development within the Institute for Nursing and Midwifery Care Excellence. She is an Honorary Professor, University of Nottingham, School of Health Sciences and a visiting lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. Sue is an experienced nurse leader in acute care and works proactively to influence and develop nurse education, nurse led research and the development of practice, across health and social care, regionally and nationally, to respond to the changing physical and mental health needs of patients, care home residents, carers and staff. She chairs the Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System’s Nursing and Midwifery Cabinet, and works actively to raise the profile and recognition of nurses and midwives. Sue is experienced in supporting and coaching nurses and frontline care staff, coproducing and developing inclusive approaches to staff engagement, shared decision making, career progression and professional development.

She has specific expertise and experience in talent management through doctoral research, developing clinical leadership and implementing new approaches to inclusive talent management and retention of nurses. Post-doctoral research interests include nursing workforce development, nursing careers, retention, preceptorship and shared governance.

Sue’s role includes responsibility for students in practice learning, she is experienced in education commissioning, recruitment and post-registration career development, including advanced clinical practice.

She is actively involved in the analysis and implementation of international standards for excellence in nursing and a founding member of Nursing and Midwifery Excellence UK (NAME-UK), a network of organisations in the UK leading the pursuit of excellence in nursing practice through credentialing with the American Nurses Credentialing Centre. 

PNC.EastMidlands@rcn.org.uk

Image Pending

Vacant 

Member for London, January 2020 - December 2023

Applications to fill this vacancy have now closed and a new committee member will be announced following an interview process.


Tim Grace

Tim Grace

Member for Northern, January 2020 - December 2023

Tim Grace works in a community mental health service as a Psychological Therapist, where he is a part of the Leadership Team. Though he is an independent prescriber, his main professional interests relate to working with people with voice-hearing experiences, service development, teaching, supervision and research. He has been involved in a number of research studies, though the most notable was working as part of a team whose study was published in The Lancet.

Tim’s clinical role involves providing highly specialist psychological interventions, including cognitive therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for people troubled by their mental health. He provides clinical supervision for a range of professionals and has supervised postgraduate students on MSc university courses and postgraduate CBT courses in the Northern region.

However, the most rewarding aspect of his role is his direct clinical work; he feels very privileged to be in a position to help people whose lives have been affected by trauma and adversity, and has learned considerably from the people he has worked with. Tim also works together with people with lived experience of mental health problems in other settings, such as developing workshops, deliver training to staff, and service development. Clinical leadership is an interesting and important part of Tim’s role, as it allows him to influence patient care across services while still retaining the individual clinical work that he enjoys.

The RCN has been a part of Tim’s professional life for most of his career. Tim was lucky enough to spend 15 months on secondment with the RCN, which he reports was a valuable time which provided him with many skills and experiences to draw on in his NHS role. Being part of the RCN Professional Nursing Committee is a relatively new role, but one which he is already finding very rewarding, and in which he is looking forward to contributing to over the coming years.

When Tim is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, and has a wide variety of interests, including travel, football (spectating), eating out and theatre. Recently he has tried his hand at growing his own fruit and vegetables, with varying degrees of success. Tim has also been learning Chinese for the past few years, though he thinks it will be many more years before he can claim to speak Chinese.


Sally Young Professional Nursing Committee

Sally Young

Member for North West, January 2020 - December 2023

Sally was in the Territorial Army and ran the resuscitation department of a field hospital during a tour of duty in Iraq. She has also worked as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner and as a Resilience and Emergency Planning Manager. Currently Sally is employed as part of a corporate nurse team in a quality assurance role.

PNC.NorthWest@rcn.org.uk

Martha Gill

Martha Gill

Member for Scotland, January 2022 - December 2025

Martha currently works as a community island nurse in Orkney. This role covers community nursing, practice nursing and emergency care. She is a dual citizen and has lived and worked as a nurse in Scotland and Australia. Moving back to Australia after completing her nursing degree in Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010, Martha worked as a practice nurse and aged care nurse and in community palliative care. Completing a Post Graduate Certificate in General Practice Nursing from Flinders University in 2013. She was involved in union work while in Australia receiving an activism award from ANMF for her work in an enterprise bargaining agreement. 

In 2016 she moved with her husband and, then 2 year old, daughter from Canberra to Orkney to commence her current role. Since then she has been involved with the RCN as a steward sitting on her health board's area partnership forum. Martha's specific interest are in remote and rural health care delivery and service models and ensuring the voice of nursing is heard and advocated for at all times. 

PNC.Scotland@rcn.org.uk

Mary Codling

Mary Codling

Member for South East, January 2022 - December 2025

Mary has worked in the NHS for 40 years starting in Essex where as soon as she qualified she began her nursing career in the community. Mary later moved to Berkshire where she has worked across all localities of the county in various roles from community nursing for people with learning disabilities, managing community teams, as an associate lecturer, epilepsy nurse specialist, best interest assessor, independent nurse prescriber and currently as a primary healthcare lead for learning disabilities.

During her career Mary has undertaken further studies such as a Diploma in Counselling, a first degree in community studies, a Masters in Health Science and an MPhil in research which were instrumental in further enhancing her clinical skills. Alongside this, Mary is also a reviewer for the NIHR Dissemination Centre. Over the years Mary has published a number of papers sharing some of the innovative projects that have helped in developing services. In the mid 2000’s Mary was awarded the title of Queens Nurse for her contribution to practice and continues to work with the Queens Institute on nursing topics.

The RCN has always been part of Mary’s life having first become a member in 1980 and later as a South East representative on the Quality Improvement network. Over the years Mary has been instrumental in her role within the RCN linking it with her connectivity to members in practice, working with both to promote the profession of nursing and key areas of health. Mary’s special interests are epilepsy, health promotion, family dynamics, research, communication and consultations with patients, end of life care, education and person centred care.

PNC.SouthEast@rcn.org.uk

Colin Baker

Colin Baker

Member for South West, June 2022 - December 2025

Originally from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, Colin has been working in the NHS for over 30 years and qualified as an RMN in 1996 at the Queen Elizabeth School of Nursing, Birmingham under project 2000. He has worked in Gloucestershire since 2000 and spent 17 years as an inpatient ward manager in various services for older persons mental health. In 2015 he became the Lead Nurse for Dementia and currently still holds this role as well as Community Service manager for the counties Dementia services. 

Colin has also worked in Learning disabilities, working age mental health services, PICU, eating disorders, substance misuse, care homes and hospice care. However, the majority of his career has been in Older persons mental health and specifically dementia services working closely with Physical health and voluntary services. 

He completed his Honours Degree in 1998, the Mary Seacole Leadership Award in 2016 and the Older Persons Fellowship at Kings college London in 2019. He has led on falls prevention Quality Improvement strategies for people with dementia for most of his career and has presented this work at several national and international forums. He is also a member of the British Geriatric Society. 

Colin has a career long involvement in unions and has held senior staff side roles for many years within Gloucestershire. Outside of work he has four children and is a keen mountaineer, hiker and runner as well as enjoying archery, fishing and art. He also has supported the charity Wellchild as part of their mountain safety team for their annual Three Peaks Challenge for several years.  

PNC.SouthWest@rcn.org.uk

Carolyn Middleton

Dr Carolyn Middleton MBE

Member for Wales, January 2022 - December 2025

Carolyn has worked as a nurse in NHS Wales for almost 44 years. Her career started as an Enrolled Nurse in a variety of surgical settings; after achieving her RN she worked as a pain management CNS, she has also held several senior divisional roles. The culmination of her career was being appointed as the Associate Director of Nursing at the  Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, a role that enabled her to gain wide ranging experience of working at a national level in Wales, linking closely with the CNO’s team and Health Education and Improvement Wales. Following semi-retirement Carolyn continues to work within the corporate nursing team. She has been an RCN member since the late 1970’s and has been an RCN Wales Board Member for the past year. 

Academically Carolyn achieved a first class honours degree, a masters degree in pain management and a professional doctorate in nursing from Cardiff University; Carolyn is an Independent prescriber. She has co-written and edited a clinical text book and has written over twenty practice related journal articles. Carolyn is currently a visiting professor at the University of South Wales and was awarded an MBE for services to Nursing in the Queens Birthday Honours list 2020. 

Carolyn's specific interests include medicines management and prescribing, professional development and regulation. Carolyn was a key member of the NMC revalidation work stream leading the largest UK pilot site. She has also been actively involved in the iterative processes undertaken by the NMC to review the English language and OSCE requirements for overseas nurses registering in the UK. 

PNC.Wales@rcn.org.uk

Raymond McMorrow

Raymond McMorrow FRCN

Member for West Midlands, January 2022 - December 2025

Ray commenced his nursing career as a Student in mental health branch at Goodmayes Hospital, in Ilford (then Essex) in 1978, and continued his education in learning disability at the Princess Marina Hospital, Northampton, completing that training in 1982.

He worked for two stints at St. Andrew’s Hospital Northampton between 1982-83 and 1987-89. In the interim period of 1983-87 he worked as a staff nurse in Bermuda where he became interested in the presentation of mental illness in the Black community and in relation to issues of transgenerational experiences. He brought back to the UK a commitment to culturally informed practice within hospital settings and the community. He also joined the RCN whilst in Bermuda, and retains an awareness of the importance of the organisation to its international members. During his second period at St Andrews he completed the EHB 603 course in Child Mental Health and his career in children’s nursing was commenced.

He has been a CPN in Solihull, Senior Community Nurse in Southern Derbyshire, Nurse Consultant for Community CAMHs at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children at Derby CCG and the Health Advisor at the NWG response unit for Child Sexual Exploitation and trafficking. In recent times Ray has returned to his care practice as a specialist Nurse in CAMHS with Midland Partnership NHS Trust.  Ray also serves as Safeguarding Advisor to Derby Cathedral, and to Freeman Collage in Sheffield.

He has completed an MA with the Tavistock Clinic in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, has trained in a number of therapeutic approaches and currently practising Mentalization with young people at risk of suicide. Ray is particularly interested in the relationship between therapeutic approaches and new learning in neuro-development.

With the RCN he has been the Chair of the CYP Staying Healthy Forum, has ran numerous events at Congress, represented the RCN on RCPCH child protection committee, at the Independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation. He has advised the Academy of Royal Collages, Royal Collage of Psychiatry, NHE England, Public Health England, Football Association on Safeguarding children policy. He has worked with Brook, Childrens Society, and numerous other services in developing education tools for practitioners. Ray represents RCN on the MindEd consortium. Ray was made a Fellow of the RCN in 2021.

He also received a Commendation from the Chief Police Constable of Derbyshire for his support in protecting young people.~

PNC.WestMidlands@rcn.org.uk

Tracie Culpitt Professional Nursing Committee

Tracie Culpitt

Nursing Support Worker member, January 2022 - December 2025

Tracie works in Education and Organisational development at a NHS Trust as the lead for Quality Assurance. She currently works with bands 2-4, around apprenticeship standards. She also sits on the RCN Education and Clinical Governance Forums. As the Nursing Support Worker member of the committee, Tracie is a voice for the unregistered workforce. She is an ex-officio member of the RCN UK Nursing Support Workers committee.

PNC.NursingSupportWorker@rcn.org.uk

Suzanne Davies

Suzanne Davies

Student member, January 2022 - December 2023

Suzanne is currently a Second Year Adult Nursing Student at Edge Hill University, having started her course in January 2021. Suzanne has been involved in the healthcare sector since she volunteered with a local care home in Liverpool at 16 years of age. At 18, Suzanne moved to Swindon and started working in a care home as a carer and has always had the drive to achieve what she has put her mind to. Sadly, Suzanne suffered with a condition called Gestational Trophoblastic Disease after the birth of her daughter. However, she is raring to go to strive forward for an all inclusive nursing sector and is her year's Cohort Representative as well as starting her term as Student member of the RCN Professional Nursing Committee and ex-officio member of the RCN UK Students Committee Member, which is her proudest achievement.

PNC.Student@rcn.org.uk