Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Who are our heroes and villains for February?


Do you agree with our choice for this month’s hero and villain?

This year we are kicking off a new slightly tongue-in-cheek section called Heroes and Villains.

Heroes and Villains

Heroes and Villains

Each month, we will be taking a generally light-hearted look at who have been the stand-out “goodies” and the “baddies” for nursing and healthcare over the last few weeks.

Let us know if you agree with our choices for February and if you have any suggestions for next month (without being unnecessarily rude, please).



Labour Party

MPs to debate freeze on nurse pay rises today

Catherine McKinnell

Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, last month stepped up to lead the debate on nurse pay.

Sparked by a petition that was signed by over 100,000 people, the debate was introduced by Ms McKinnell who called for an end to the 1% cap on nurse pay rises.

She said: “It’s hard to emphasise enough my support for people working across the NHS in increasingly challenging circumstances, without whom our health service would, quite frankly, cease to exist.

How have we found ourselves in a position in which hard-working, dedicated, exhausted nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals are genuinely struggling to make ends meet?”



Paula Vasco Knight

Paula Vasco-Knight

Paula Vasco-Knight

A former hospital trust chief executive with a background in nursing faces jail after she pleaded guilty to fraudulently paying her husband more than £11,000.

Paula Vasco-Knight, former head of South Devon Foundation Trust, and her husband Stephen had pleaded not guilty to fraud at Exeter Crown Court but changed their pleas last month.

The couple will be sentenced on 10 March. It is a sad fall from grace for the high profile nurse turned NHS leader and once regular speaker at nursing conferences who was made a CBE in 2014.


Readers' comments (2)

  • When will nurses employed by ATOS or CAPITA learn that is not OK to make false assumptions , or state that they have examined or assessed things they have not during Personal Independence Payment assessments. Apparantly someone with longstanding, well documented, bilateral foot drop by expert clinicians, using ergonomic shaped handled elbow crutches can walk with a normal gait, and long standing complex spinal problems, including major spinal surgery means a spine has a normal curve even though not examined. One apparently has no need for special cutlery to help eat when one has poor grip because the person can use an elbow crutch, a special grabber with soft handle to pick up paper dropped during assessment, and can drive a car. Walking distance is based on owning a garden, not the distance the person can actually manage, reliably , repeatable in a reasonable time frame and safely without severe pain. Crawling seems to count as walking. Claimants can be told they can crouch and then stand up without doing it.
    Blatant lies are not a professional way to practice,


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Have had 'run ins' wtth ATOS. Was phoned for telephone assessment over disabilities, when bright young spark asked me which was oldest of my list of disabilities.
    When did you get that?
    "Oh. So you are WELL over that by now!"
    Am surprised the telephone line was still intact after my blistering reply to that.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.