Royal College of Nursing secretly paid former boss a £135,000 payoff over ...

Royal College of Nursing secretly paid former boss a £135,000 payoff over ...
Royal College of Nursing secretly paid former boss a £135,000 payoff over ...

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Dame Donna Kinnair faced an investigation over claims that she had accepted hospitality from financier George Farha while on holiday in Morocco

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Dame Donna Kinnair faced an investigation over claims that she had accepted hospitality from financier George Farha while on holiday in Morocco

The head of the Royal College of Nursing was suspended amid concerns over her friendship with a multi-millionaire businessman who donated to one of Prince Charles's charity projects.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Dame Donna Kinnair faced an investigation over claims that she had accepted hospitality from financier George Farha while on holiday in Morocco.

She was also accused of holding four meetings with then Health Secretary Matt Hancock without telling RCN officials and for failing to declare earnings from other organisations.

There was shock in June when Dame Donna – who was recruited by the RCN in 2015 to improve its reputation and was later awarded a damehood by the Queen – stepped down from her £197,000-a-year job as chief executive and general secretary.

The nursing union's 465,000 members were told she was leaving after 'a period of ill health' – but knew nothing until now of the disciplinary investigation.

Within a fortnight of the probe being launched, the RCN and Dame Donna struck a deal for her to walk away with a £135,000 payoff and an understanding that the entire episode would be kept secret. Dame Donna, 60, now has a role with the Burdett Trust for Nursing, a charitable trust.

An insider said: 'I was livid when I found out and no doubt members will be too when they hear this. Nurses deserve better.

'It is particularly sickening at a time when nurses are facing some of the toughest challenges in their career, dealing with a pandemic while genuinely suffering personal financial difficulties. We expect RCN staff to be working 100 per cent for our members, not using their position to suit themselves.'

Concerns over Dame Donna's conduct emerged when she took time off work earlier this year after being involved in a bicycle accident. A source said: 'When colleagues tried to fill in for her, they naturally checked her emails and that was when the really worrying questions began.'

There was shock in June when Dame Donna (pictured) – who was recruited by the RCN in 2015 to improve its reputation and was later awarded a damehood by the Queen – stepped down from her £197,000-a-year job as chief executive and general secretary

There was shock in June when Dame Donna (pictured) – who was recruited by the RCN in 2015 to improve its reputation and was later awarded a damehood by the Queen – stepped down from her £197,000-a-year job as chief executive and general secretary

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