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.