Peter Carter (nurse)

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Peter Carter in September 2009

Peter Carter, OBE, was the general secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing[1][2]


Peter Carter trained for six years as a psychiatric nurse at Hill End Hospital in St Albans, then worked at the then regional adolescent unit at Hill End Hospital, undertaking further training in family therapy and crisis intervention. Carter is also a general nurse and trained at St Albans City Hospital and the Institute of Urology in London, and held clinical and managerial posts in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and London.

He started his managerial education at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and got an MBA and PhD from the University of Birmingham.[citation needed] He spent almost twelve years as the Chief Executive of the Central and North West London Mental Health NHS Trust, and in January 2007 became general secretary and Chief Executive for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

In July 2013, Carter was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University.[3] He was awarded the OBE for services to the National Health Service (NHS) in the 2006 New Year's Honours list.

Royal College of Nursing[edit]

Carter succeeded Beverly Malone as General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing in January 2007. Since becoming the general secretary and Chief Executive of the RCN, Peter Carter has restructured his top team and re-focused the organisation to address outstanding issues and the ongoing reforms of the NHS. Under his leadership, the RCN has established itself as a leading voice on nursing and health in the UK political arena. In 2013, Peter Carter and the RCN were criticised in the Francis report, which examined failures in care at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. The campaign group, Cure the NHS, led calls for Carter's resignation which were rebuffed.[4]

He was said by the Health Service Journal to be the 28th most powerful person in the English NHS in December 2013.[5]

Notable moments[edit]

Carter has presided over an organisation that has been heavily criticised in the Francis report into the failure of care standards at Staffordshire hospital and has faced down calls for his resignation.[6]

In 2010 Peter assumed the position of Honorary Colonel to 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital in Cardiff. The Hospital has deployed on Operations as a formed unit in 2008 to Afghanistan, additionally many of its personnel have seen active service on Operations in the Balkans and Iraq. Dr Carter is a keen supporter of Military Nursing and has hosted Tri-service events at Cavendish House.

In 2013, Peter Carter and the RCN were heavily criticised in the Stafford Hospital scandal inquiry report into the failure of care at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Carter had previously used a newspaper interview to praise standards at the hospital and there were calls for his resignation from the campaign group Cure the NHS and from several prominent media outlets. Carter refused to resign and also ignored calls in the Stafford Hospital scandal inquiry report for the RCN to be split into two component organisations covering Trade Union activity and professional regulation.[6][7][8][4]


  1. ^ "Dr Peter Carter to leave". RCN. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Janet Davies takes over as RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary". RCN. 2015-08-03. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  3. ^ "Top Nurse Given Honorary Award - News". 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  4. ^ a b Julie Bailey. "Mid Staffs: heads must roll | Julie Bailey | Comment is free". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  5. ^ "HSJ100 2013 The annual list of the most influential people in health". Health Service Journal. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Robinson, Martin. "Mid Staffs report: Families call for head of NHS to resign after damning scandal | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  7. ^ "Stafford Hospital inquiry: Campaigner who lost her mother calls for NHS chiefs to resign | Metro News". 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  8. ^ Jonathan Brown (2013-02-06). "Families call for bosses to be held responsible for deaths of relatives | Health News | Lifestyle". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-09-26.