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Many doctors angry at striking off of nurse whistleblower

  • 16 Comments

Doctors, as well as nurses, have rallied to defend nurse whistleblower Margaret Haywood.

The online community Doctors.net.uk said it had been inundated with messages supporting Ms Haywood, who secretly filmed the neglect of elderly patients in a Brighton hospital for a BBC Panorama programme in 2005.

She was struck off by the NMC two weeks ago, for breaching patient confidentiality.

Dr Tim Ringrose, managing director of medical communities at Doctors.net.uk, said: ‘Many people in the medical profession have said that this NMC decision is a major setback for anyone wanting to expose threats to patient safety.

‘Some doctors have questioned the method by which she revealed he neglect, but the majority are simply stunned and angry about the NMC’s heavy-handed response,’ he added.

Additionally an online petition set up by the RCN in support of Ms Haywood had been signed by 14,066 people, as of Friday.

The college said it believed her striking off was ‘unduly harsh’. Petition signatories include Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Paul Burstow.

  • 16 Comments

Readers' comments (16)

  • N.M.C. need to act in the best interest of patients, reinstate nurse and give her a warning.

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  • It is very difficult for the truth to be exposed and ensure confidentiality. If the mechansims had been place to support this whistleblowing process the situation would not have occurred for this nurse or the organisation. This is a failure on part of the trust and a warning from the NMC would have been sufficient as well as ensuring that processes are set up so such poor practice can be exposed.

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  • Charlotte Peters Rock

    This nurse should not be reprimanded as long as she can show that she has tried to alert some senior member of her own Trust to the problems. Instead she should be both praised and rewarded for her actions. If nurses will not oversee the welfare of their patients who will? Certainly not the 'bean counters'.

    The Nursing and Midwifery Council now needs to root out the self-serving people who struck her off in the first place.

    If they are willing to turn a blind eye to the corruptions of senior NHS Trust managers, whom they probably see as 'colleagues', then they are of no possible use in protecting vulnerable patients.

    Perhaps this ex-nurse might be seriously considered for a job on the Nursing and Midwifery Council? After all, she was actually doing the job for which she was paid.. and was then intimidated firstly by her own Trust and then by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. There are serious echoes of 'Graham Pink' here.

    Use of Data Protection Act against her is just disgusting.

    Long may such people thrive. This nurse deserves a medal!

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  • I deeply regret the way in which Ms. Haywood was enticed by Panorama to expose these truly dreadfull events.

    I am also saddened that she was naive enough to assume the BBC had her best interests at heart and did not seek the opinion of her Union prior to embarking upon this modus operandii.

    As for using the 'Data Protection Act' against her - we are, all of us, bound by the Law: even the most naive of us.

    The events exposed by Ms Haywood are a disgrace but two wrongs do not make a right: there were other, albeit less sensational, options open which need not have excluded such public exposure but as an end point rather than a starting point.

    An unpopular NMC decision does not actually make that decison a 'wrong' one.

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  • As a registered nurse who has worked in elderly services for the NHS I think it is a good thing that that Ms Haywood exposed what is sadly a reality in many PCTs when it comes to care of the elderly.

    I think the NMC should hang its head in shame for its conduct and reinstate this nurse. Too many good nurses are being lost because hospital managers can't get their act together

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  • I was for 15 years a recognised and qualified Nurse Investigator, working both in the private and public sector. I investigated everything from fraud to patient abuse for employers and the legal and insurance profession. Undercover work was a regular occurence, if I had been discovered in this role I would not have expected to have been struck off but congratulated on uncovering poor practice, abuse or worse. This nurse should be appluaded. If by chance the UKCC/NMC had decided to take me to tribunal they would have lost very publicly and to their great expense. I am a regular contributor to "have your say" and usually display my name but in this matter I will remain anonymous as I am still subject to confidentiality clauses in cases I was involved in. As a note although I have retired from investigation, I was replaced by another and I know personally several other investigators who work solely within the health care profession. Be warned, you never know who is looking over your shoulder at your practice and conduct.

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  • I am appauled at the severe treatment of this nurse, whose sole purpose was to highlight and therefore protect the elderly in her care. Whilst we know patient confidentiality is paramount, so too is patient advocacy. I believe the NMC has done a grave injustice to our elderly patients and should hang their heads in shame.

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  • I think the striking off was harsh (just take a look at the NMC professional hearings & the decisions they make - no consistent approach) - but, at the same time it appears that Ms Haywood did not follow procedures - we are all bound by these each time we accept our salary at the end of the month. Unions are there to support us when our employers do not listen; as is the fundamental principle of the NMC - protecting the public - who are our patients.
    It almost serves as a warning to all practising nurses & midwives - be very careful what you do or say with any information about what you see as substandard care if you have not tried to do anything about it locally. Did the relatives/patients featured in the documentary complain?

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  • Working as a Nurse in a Nursing Home, we are bound by what is called a Contract of Employment, everybody is given an Employee's handbook , in which is set out all information needed to carry-out the job as needed usually in this book is a section on Whistle-Blowing!
    UNFORTUNATLY IF YOU TELL THE TRUTH YOU WILL BE SACKED

    This Will Not Help The Abused Elderly Patients

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  • This nurse should not be reprimanded as long as she can show that she has tried to alert some senior member of her own Trust to the problems. Instead she should be both praised and rewarded for her actions. If nurses will not oversee the welfare of their patients who will? Certainly not the 'bean counters'.

    The Nursing and Midwifery Council now needs to root out the self-serving people who struck her off in the first place.

    If they are willing to turn a blind eye to the corruptions of senior NHS Trust managers, whom they probably see as 'colleagues', then they are of no possible use in protecting vulnerable patients.

    Perhaps this ex-nurse might be seriously considered for a job on the Nursing and Midwifery Council? After all, she was actually doing the job for which she was paid.. and was then intimidated firstly by her own Trust and then by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. There are serious echoes of 'Graham Pink' here.

    Use of Data Protection Act against her is just disgusting.

    Long may such people thrive. This nurse deserves a medal!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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