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RCN lodges appeal on behalf of ‘undercover nurse’


The RCN has today lodged an appeal on behalf of Margaret Haywood, the ‘undercover nurse’ who was struck off by the NMC last month for breaching patient confidentiality.

The college said that although nurses must practise within the NMC’s code of conduct, the decision to remove Ms Haywood from the register was ‘overly harsh’.

Over 39,000 people have signed a petition in support of Ms Haywood, who went undercover for the BBC to expose poor patient care at Brighton University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Confirming the launch of the RCN’s new ‘whistleblowing’ hotline today, RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘Since the case, a huge number of you have been in touch to express your concerns about being able to stand up and speak out about patient care.

‘It’s vital that nursing staff have a safe, sound and secure method of lodging their complaints with an organisation that will actually act on them.

‘A balance is needed to protect nursing staff, but also to expose, when necessary, poor treatment, poor practice and poor healthcare,’ he told delegates at the RCN Congress in Harrogate.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Good for the RCN and it was more than overly harsh, it was ignoring the need to protect patients. MH acted within the code to protect patients. The NMC has failed to do that. What have they done about the initial poor response by that trust to complaints from patients, relatives and staff of very serious problems? Nothing. What did they do about the subsequent witch hunt MH had to endure where her work was scrutinised to try and find fault with her practice even though there had been no concerns at the time.14 months later someone just happened to remember a problem. The NMC has seen this type of behaviour again and again. What did they do about it? Nothing. The current system doesn't work and the NMC are part of the reason for this sorry state of affairs. Thinking of blowing the whistle? Be warned.
    Julie Fagan Campaign Against Unnecessary/Unjust Suspensions and Exclusions (CAUSE UK)

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  • If you really want to know about the NMC,its practices,finances,expenses and performance just take the time to read the performance revue of the NMC by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence for the year 2007/8.It can be found at ;-
    This body looks at and reports on all the Healthcare Regulators.Their report on the NMC is a damning indictment of most of their activities!Just to choose one relevant aspect:-
    In section 3.8.14 they state :-
    "The NMC has made progress in carrying out some aspects of its fitness to practice function but we have serious concerns whether all of its current processes are fit for purpose"
    it goes on in 3.8.16
    "However we still have serious concerns regarding the NMC´s handling of fitness to practice cases"
    The whole report is in the same vein.This is the body that is supposed to exist to safeguard the health and well being of the public and yet it cannot maintain its own house in order according to its regulator.Read the report and I am sure it will explain why it has failed patients and nurses miserably at the same time it was ensuring its own expensive empire was maintained!

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