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PNC and TUC set out joint commitment to shaping the future of the RCN

Rachel Hollis and Denise Kelly 25 Oct 2022

Chair of the RCN's PNC Rachel Hollis, and TUC Chair Denise Kelly, share their commitment to helping drive forward the recommendations set out in the independent review of RCN.

The publication of the review by Bruce Carr KC is a defining moment for the College. In his words the report paints a picture of an organisation which ‘is riddled with division, dysfunction, and distrust.’ The testimonies of RCN members and staff speak of unacceptable experiences of misogyny, racism and sexual harassment; their voices have been heard by Bruce Carr, and by the leadership of the RCN. 

In the member meeting which followed publication of the review, our General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen, President Denise Chaffer, and Chair of Council Carol Popplestone - the three women leading the College - accepted the report in full, apologised unreservedly for the failures it exposed, endorsed the recommendations, and committed to the change that must follow.

As Chair of the Professional Nursing Committee (PNC), and Chair of the Trade Union Committee (TUC) we support them in accepting the report in full, endorsing its recommendations, and committing to working with them in bringing about the fundamental changes needed, setting out a new vision for the RCN of the future.

We have complete confidence in Pat’s leadership and her determination and commitment to reform the RCN and root out the behaviours described in the report. Pat’s stewardship will ensure justice is delivered and the changes set out in this review of our culture, and the KPMG review of our governance are made. We applaud her for making sure that a light has been shone into dark places, and for her transparency and engagement with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and with the Chief Nursing Officers of all four UK nations.

We have heard from Carol Popplestone that Council is committed to driving change, bringing justice, and raising standards in response to the report and its recommendations. One of these is the relationship and perceived tensions between the professional and trade union arms of the college. It is vital therefore that both PNC and TUC are fully engaged alongside Council and the Executive team in taking this work forward, and we have the commitment of our respective committees in doing so.

We firmly believe that the dual function of the RCN as both a professional body and a trade union is a source of great strength and should never be a cause of division and mistrust. We must not consider ourselves as two sides, competing for resource and attention, but rather, as two arms, each working to strengthen the other, and with parity between them.

We are both professional, and trade unionists, and we are both deeply committed to the RCN, and to working together to ensure that the college can flourish for the benefit of our members, and the wider profession. We believe that this dual function must be recognised and embedded in the five-year strategy currently under development, which should set out the vision for the future of the RCN, and the nursing profession.

We encourage all RCN members to attend the Emergency General Meeting on 29 November to discuss the report, and the way forward. Further details of this meeting will be shared shortly. It is important that we hear from members across the breadth of our diverse membership. Please make sure your voice is heard.

A reminder that an independent and confidential help and support line is once more available to any members and staff who have been affected by issues related to the Carr Review: 0800 783 1157. The line is open every day of the week, 24 hours a day, managed by the Validium Group, with strict policies and procedures to ensure confidentiality.

If you wish to report anything of concern you have experienced whilst engaged in RCN activities or events, or any information related to the content of the report you can still do so: 0800 028 2511. Calls are handled by in confidence by Safecall which specialises in safe reporting systems. 
Rachel Hollis and Denise Kelly

Rachel Hollis and Denise Kelly

Chair PNC and Chair TUC

Page last updated - 25/03/2023