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'Undercover nurse' Margaret Haywood struck off for secret filming

Whistleblowing nurse Margaret Haywood who secretly filmed elderly patients for BBC Panorama documentary, Undercover Nurse, has been struck off the register with immediate effect.

Margaret Haywood, 58, carried out filming for a BBC Panorama programme exposing neglect of elderly patients at the Royal Sussex Hospital, which screened in July 2005.

Ms Haywood, of Liverpool, was found guilty of misconduct at a hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in central London, despite arguing that she ‘was convinced that it was the right thing to do’.

She added that she had reported the issues raised in the programme, but nothing had been done.

However, the council ruled that given the seriousness of her misconduct, ‘it would not be in the public interest for her to be able to practise as a nurse’.

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Haywood, of Liverpool, said: ‘There was no other way of getting the full picture. I am absolutely devastated and upset by it all. I think I have been treated very harshly.’

Linda Read, chair of the panel, said: ‘Although the conditions on the ward were dreadful, it was not necessary to breach confidentiality to seek to improve them by the method chosen.’

A Royal College of Nursing spokesman said: ‘Those in charge must put robust systems in place which allow staff to voice their concerns and they need to know that they will be supported when raising genuine concerns.’

Ms Haywood was too upset to comment on the ruling.

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