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Royal College of Nursing chief steps down due to ill health after cycling crash

Dame Donna Kinnair has headed the organisation since 2019.

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Dame Donna Kinnair, head of the Royal College of Nursing, has stepped down (RCN/PA)

Dame Donna Kinnair, head of the Royal College of Nursing, has stepped down (RCN/PA)

Dame Donna Kinnair, head of the Royal College of Nursing, has stepped down (RCN/PA)

The chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has resigned from her role with immediate effect due to long-term ill health from a cycling accident.

Dame Donna Kinnair has headed the RCN as chief executive and general secretary since 2019 but was forced to take a period of sick leave in April following the crash.

The RCN announced on Thursday that Dame Donna has now stepped down permanently.

In a statement, she said: “I have been honoured to represent my profession in this role, particularly throughout the challenges of the pandemic and to have had an opportunity to work alongside (intensive care unit) colleagues at the Nightingale Hospital London.

“I wish my colleagues and our membership all the best for the future and look forward to taking on some new challenges after my recovery.”

Pat Cullen has been acting general secretary and chief executive of the RCN since April, and will continue in the role, the royal college said.

After Dame Donna was injured in April, Ms Cullen said: “No-one will be surprised to hear that Donna’s first response was to praise the nursing staff who looked after her in hospital.

“I know I speak for all our members when I wish Donna a full and speedy recovery.”

Carol Popplestone, vice chair of the RCN Council, its governing body, said: “We thank Dame Donna for all her service to the college as general secretary and chief executive and wish her well.”

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