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.