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Online nursing community rally to help whistleblower

  • 4 Comments

The NMC is being urged to reinstate a whistleblower who was struck off for secretly filming patients being neglected.

More than 260 nurses have so far rallied to sign an online petition set up by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in support of Margaret Haywood. Meanwhile, five separate groups on Facebook backing Ms Haywood have attracted more than 300 members.

The 58-year-old, from Liverpool, was struck off by an NMC panel last week after recording conditions at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, East Sussex, for the BBC’s Panorama programme in July 2005.

She was told by the panel that her misconduct was a ‘major breach’ of the profession’s code and ‘it would not be in the public interest for her to be able to practise as a nurse’.

The RCN said: ‘Messages of support have been flooding in since the NMC announced its decision. We encourage fellow nurses and members of the public to show their support for Margaret.’

Ms Haywood, who has worked as a nurse for more than 20 years, is considering appealing against the verdict. An appeal can be taken to the High Court within 28 days of the decision.

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Difficult this one isn't it?
    Well actually it isn't. If the issue is whistle blowing on poor service and bad practice then this nurse requires total support - NMC are fool hardy. However as we do not know all of the facts, including time lines and if we went to simply prove a point, allowed an indecent time to pass simply for the benefit of the BBC's film then what are we being asked to support. Is the nurse in fact complicit in the bad practice by waiting upon a convenience to further sensationalise as event. Surely, if we see bad practice and worse than that film one incidence of poor practice and do not report it immediately to a senior then this as NMC suggest is gross negligence. Bad practice MUST be immediately be stopped.

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  • I consider that the issue does come down to whistleblowing.

    I would be surprised if the Hospital's hierarchy did not have ample opportunity to act. Did any Family members complain? Did any patients complain? Did any other nurses complain? Did the Ward not have a manager / Charge Nurse? Were there any IR1's completed? Did the figures not show that there were more incidents and deaths in this Unit/Hospital than elsewhere? Where were the regulators? (sticks in the craw to ask that question)

    It is not Nurse Haywood's inaction that caused, contributed or prolonged poor practice! It is Nurse Haywood's action that caused the abuse to stop by whistleblowing.

    I am personally disappointed that the NHS and the NMC and all too often the RCN will gang together to defnd an inherently sick system that defends itself against those who complain about it by punishing them severely! The system is failing because too many people in key positions lack the personal integrity to stop the bullying and abuse that they turn a blind eye to!

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  • The code is very clear with regards to maintaining patients confidentiality. this is the main reason, i would think why this person was struck off and rightly so. there are procedures for reporting poor practice without having to cause so much chaos and drama. writting letters to the management and through unions is available options and it does not seem that this nurse explored these options.
    I would Urge the NMC to withold their decision and not be swayed by the media. this is not a public debate, it is about maintaining the Code of Practice and maintaining values of which the profession thrives on...

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  • RCN have come out. They want a petition to support. Clearly we are devoid of some of the facts...other than this woman didn't do it for monetary gain or fame. She did it to protect. Fact.
    Some Clinton woman addressed us UK nurses a while back....it went along the lines of....if we don't shake the tree, make a noise...people won't bother us at all.
    Consider.

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