• Janet Davies departs RCN ahead of the union’s emergency general meeting
  • Ms Davies apologised to members last month for miscommunicating the Agenda for Change deal
  • Current director of nursing policy and practice Donna Kinnair will become acting chief executive

Janet Davies has announced her resignation as chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing following the pay deal error which drew widespread criticism from nurses.

Ms Davies will step down at the end of this month by “mutual agreement” leaving the role ahead of the union’s emergency general meeting.

The EGM was called after a petition of RCN members over how the union communicated the Agenda for Change pay deal to members, for which she personally apologised last month.

HSJ revealed that Ms Davies promised members they would get a pay uplift of 3 per cent, but documents from when the deal was originally agreed show this was never going to be the case.

Ms Davies joined the RCN team in 2005 and took up her leadership position three years ago.

She said: “It has been a great honour to represent my profession at the highest level, and I am proud of the achievements the college has made over the past three years against a difficult political backdrop.”

Maria Trewern, chair of the RCN Council confirmed: “The RCN and Janet Davies have decided to part ways by mutual agreement.”

The RCN added it would take a decision on the long-term executive leadership of the organisation following the findings of a review into the pay deal issues.

Current director of nursing policy and practice Dame professor Donna Kinnair will take up the role of acting chief executive and general secretary.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “Janet was a highly effective voice for the nursing workforce and I very much appreciated her support in the formation of the Cavendish Coalition.

“We look forward to working with Donna Kinnair and other colleagues at the RCN through the strong partnership arrangements that we have in place with all our trade unions,” Mr Mortimer said.

A petition was launched by a group of RCN members after Ms Davies’ apology in which they said they felt “misled” by their union and called for its leaders to stand down.