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Michael Parkinson speaks out on Haywood case


Sir Michael Parkinson, the government’s dignity ambassador, has said that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust was probably right to sack Margaret Haywood.

Speaking to Nursing Times last week at RCN Congress in Harrogate, Mr Parkinson said Ms Haywood had to lose her job if she had breached her contract by taking part in the undercover filming of patients for a BBC Panorama documentary.

He stopped short of discussing whether she should have also been struck off by the NMC – a decision recently criticised by health minister Ben Bradshaw.

‘If it was a breach of her contract, then she would be sacked,’ Sir Michael said. ‘I don’t think you can blame the bosses, they are running a hospital and we should not judge them too harshly.’

However, he added: ‘What she exposed was an important story, and from that point of view it was justified.’

Debates and resolutions on the case of Ms Haywood were banned from congress due to legal reasons - an appeal has been submitted by the RCN calling for her to be reinstated on the NMC register.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Michael Parkinson would say the Trust were right to sack Margaret Haywood. He has, as usual, completely missed the point. Her actions were for the greater good - demonstrated by the furore the programme caused - and the improvements which were made as a result.

    He is never likely to experience first hand, treatment in an NHS hospital - and certainly not the kind of treatment to which these poor patients were subjected. As such, he should keep his comments to himself.

    Margaret Fox

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  • Oh well that's ok then if Parky says so. Good grief there really is no hope is there if the 'dignity ambassador' (give me strength) thinks along these lines.
    Parky will be nursed in a well staffed, well provisioned, clean, private hospital where his every whim will be catered for and his family listened to. His family certainly won't have to sit with him in 24/7 relays to ensure he gets fed, watered and cleaned. Please Mr Parkinson wake and smell the coffee. We need you to put your considerable clout into making people sit up and take notice -not making watery statements.

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