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Making sure our College is working on your behalf

Pat Cullen 10 Sep 2021 Chief Executive and General Secretary

Pat Cullen, RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive, explains how she is committed to change and supporting members.

This week was dominated by members campaigning very effectively in the final days of the NHS pay consultations and me, on your behalf, speaking directly to politicians in Parliament about safe staffing. There are lots of serious issues to overcome inside our College – but be assured, the RCN is facing outwards and my eyes are on firmly on your top priorities.  

There have been a number of important announcements from the RCN in recent weeks – including the wide-ranging review into the College. To be able to act in your best interest, we must work to empower all our members and make sure we properly represent you. And those of us working for, or elected to positions in, the College must hold ourselves to the highest standards.  

That is why I am determined to deliver fundamental change for members and make sure our College can represent our profession effectively now and in the future. This is one of my priorities as General Secretary and Chief Executive, alongside the fight for fair pay and safe staffing.  

And I know these are your priorities too. If you’re eligible to take part in the consultation on the NHS pay awards in England and Wales, please make sure you vote before it closes on 13 September. I have been so proud of members taking our Fair Pay for Nursing campaign out into their communities during our Summer of Action and felt very moved by the silent protest events on Wednesday held across England and Wales.  

From the Angel of the North, to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Fistral beach in Cornwall, our members bowed their heads in silence to protest against the recent 3% pay award. It was great to see members of the public also joined you at these events to show their support for our campaign.  

Yesterday, I gave evidence to the Health and Social Care Bill Committee. I told MPs on the Committee that the Bill doesn’t go far enough to address accountability for the workforce or deal with shortages. I also told the Committee that we want the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to have legal accountability for workforce planning and supply, as part of service and finance planning, to help ensure staffing for safe and effective care now and in the future, on an ongoing basis. This would start to credibly address the nursing workforce crisis. 

Finally, I am also delighted to welcome Carol Webley-Brown as she joins RCN Council as the new representative for London. I look forward to working with Carol, a fellow mental health nurse, alongside our existing Council colleagues to deliver your priorities for nursing.    

Change is ahead and I need your help to do this. If you want to engage in the current review, I urge you to do so to move us forward and transform our College for the better.  

Read more

Transforming the RCN: an independent review into the organisational culture of the RCN
Pat Cullen gives evidence to Health and Care Bill committee
Fair Pay for Nursing: latest updates
Carol Webley-Brown elected to represent London members on RCN Council


Pat Cullen

Pat Cullen

General Secretary and Chief Executive

Pat has worked at the RCN since 2016. Before being appointed General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat was Director of RCN Northern Ireland from May 2019 to April 2021.

Page last updated - 09/02/2022