Our Patron 

Acclaimed author Christie Watson became Patron of the RCN Foundation in 2018

Our patron Christie Watson 

Before taking up writing full-time, Christie was a registered paediatric nurse for 20 years. She worked in paediatric intensive care before becoming a resuscitation officer, which involved teaching and clinical work on hospital-wide crash teams.

Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First novel Award, and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was received international acclaim.

Her latest book, The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story, is an autobiographical account of her time as a nurse, and has been hailed as one of the best clinical memoirs in recent years. The book is a Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller and was a BBC Radio 4 book of the week. Her books have been translated into 22 languages.

Christie was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters, honoris causa for her contribution to nursing and the arts by the University of East Anglia.

Nursing is in trouble like never before and the RCN Foundation helps nurses in many ways, including those suffering financial hardship. We must support nurses in order that they are able to continue to deliver the best possible care that all patients deserve. It’s a privilege and honour to work alongside the RCN Foundation as their Patron." - Christie Watson, Author and RCN Foundation Patron

Our Trustees

Professor Jane Cummings CBE, RN (Chair of the Board of Trustees)

Jane is a Registered Nurse with nearly 40 years experience. She specialised in Emergency Care before holding a variety of senior and managerial roles including Clinical Nurse Specialist, Director of Commissioning, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive. She has worked in local, regional and national roles. She was appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer for England in March 2012 and retired in January 2019. Jane was the national lead for maternity, learning disability, equality and diversity, patient engagement and experience for 16 months and was also the Regional Director for London. She is a visiting professor at Kingston University and St. George's University London and was awarded a Doctor of Science by Edge Hill University and a Doctor of the University by New Bucks University. Jane is a Trustee for Macmillan Cancer Support and a clinical ambassador for the Over the Wall charity where she also volunteers as a nurse. 

Christine Perry (Vice-Chair)

Christine remains as passionate about nursing and excellent care today as when she started out in 1977. She spent much of her career in infection prevention and has been chair of the Infection Control Nurses Association and a member of national advisory boards and committees. She moved into the role of Director of Nursing at Weston Area Health NHS Trust in 2012 and at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in 2015. She enjoys gardening and being a grandmother to seven granddaughters and one grandson.

Gordon Hull

Gordon has over 25 years’ experience in developing businesses in the financial services sector. He has worked in leadership positions in a wide variety of business environments, including major public limited companies, small entrepreneurial businesses and, most recently, leading consumer investment and insurance businesses for Wesleyan, Virgin Money and AXA. Gordon has an MA in economics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD, France. He brings extensive experience in strategy and commercial development, marketing, digital development and investment governance to the Board.

David Jones (Chair, Income Generation and Investment Committee)

David is Director of Grant Programmes at the People’s Health Trust. Before that, he was Grants Director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity where he ran the £35 million grant and investment programmes. He has also worked for Newham Council’s play service and Camden Council’s Social Services Department. At the King’s Fund David managed programmes on health and homelessness and health advocacy for minority ethnic Londoners.

Moya Kirmond

Moya completed a BA in American and Canadian studies at the University of Birmingham in 2011, living in Wyoming, USA, for a year. She then turned to healthcare, qualifying as an adult Nurse in 2014 with a postgraduate diploma from King’s College London. She worked on the major trauma unit at King’s College Hospital for three years before becoming a clinical research nurse at St Mary’s Hospital. In 2017, with a grant from the RCN Foundation, she completed her MSc dissertation exploring end of life care for trauma patients, and received one of our Impact Awards in recognition of her work.

Rachel Lambert-Forsyth (Chair, Grants Committee) 

Rachel has 10 years’ experience working in the professional body sector. After completing a BSc (Hons) in marine biology and coastal ecology and a MSc in sustainable environmental management, she moved to London to work at the Royal Society of Biology. Starting in an entry level office role, she rose quickly through the ranks and is now the Director of Membership and Professional Affairs. She manages a large team and works with the chief executive and trustees to ensure good governance.

Professor Charlotte McArdle

Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland, Charlotte is responsible for professional leadership, performance and development of the professions in Northern Ireland, including Allied Health Professionals. As part of this role, she develops standards of practice to improve patient care. She is the department’s policy lead for patient and public involvement and coproduction and also leads on patient experience and nutrition. Previously, Charlotte was Executive Director of Nursing, primary care and older people at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. She was responsible for a £135 million budget and the professional practice of 3,500 nurses and midwives.

 Atul Patel MBE

Atul's 30-year career in housing, regeneration, and the public sector includes roles as director of regulation at The Housing Corporation in the 1990s and deputy director at the Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Unit. He was chair of the Race Equality Advisory Group at the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2001, overlapping with his role as a board and Planning Committee member at the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. He was chief executive at ASRA Greater London Housing Association and LHA-ASRA Group, before retiring in 2010. Appointed trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund in 2011, Atul received an MBE in 2018 for services to heritage and the community in the East Midlands.

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE

A midwife and nurse for thirty-one years, Professor Dunkley-Bent is the first Chief Midwifery Officer for England and National Maternity Safety Champion. Professor Dunkley-Bent has previously held a number of senior positions in clinical practice, education, leadership and management including Head of Maternity, Children and Young People at NHS England and Director of Midwifery & Divisional Head of Nursing Women’s and Children’s at Imperial College Healthcare Trust. In 2015, she was included on Nursing Times’ Leaders list that celebrated nurses and midwives who are pioneers and inspirational role models in their profession.