Thursday, April 16, 2009

NHS 'whistleblowing' nurse shamefully struck off by NMC

Margaret Haywood, a whistleblowing nurse who secretly filmed for the BBC to reveal the neglect of elderly patients at a hospital has been struck off for misconduct.

Ms Haywood who is 58, secretly filmed elderly patients at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for a BBC Panorama programme in July 2005.

Today... in an unbelievably crass act she was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council who said she failed to "follow her obligations as a nurse". In other words... the Nursing and Midwifery Council believe that rules... are more important and come before the care of patients! Unbelievable!!

Ms Haywood, who is originally from Liverpool and has been a nurse for over 20 years, said she thought she had been treated harshly and insisted she had put patients first.

"I am absolutely devastated and upset by it all. I think I have been treated very harshly."
I think most people would agree Margaret!!

Ms Haywood is now calling for a whistle-blower review and I'm glad she is as this is really very unjust. Her intentions were clearly to help these patients. If the Nursing and Midwifery Council felt that strongly that Ms Haywood had indeed failed in her nursing duties, then in the circumstances, I would have thought some sort of reprimand would have been more appropriate.

A spokesman for the Royal College of Nursing said parts of the NHS did not have "systems or working environments" in place that encouraged staff to speak out. He added:

"This can put staff in an extremely difficult position and when staff concerns are discouraged or ignored, it can often lead to poor patient care getting worse.

It is absolutely vital that healthcare staff at all levels feel they can raise concerns about poor patient care with their managers."

But a Department of Health spokesperson said:

"Whistle-blowers already have full protection under the Public Interest Disclosure Act passed by this Government.

We expect that any member of staff who reports concerns about the safety or quality of care to be listened to by their managers and action taken to address their concerns."
Well... the Public Interest Disclosure Act doesn't seem to have helped Ms Haywood very much so far... despite the fact that she did her best to report her concerns to her managers, as she confirms:

"I did voice my concerns through my immediate line manager and I also went to my ward manager but nothing was really taken on board.

Nurses are afraid to speak out about what is happening and the whole process needs to be reviewed so nurses can make it easier to voice their concerns."
Quite! They should also not be struck off for 'whistleblowing' clear examples of appalling treatment of the elderly! twisted

I very much hope the BBC are supporting Ms Haywood's case... and not letting her hang out to dry!

If you would like to support Margaret Haywood, there is a Facebook Group whose aim is to Reinstate Margaret Haywood.

Update - Petitions set up

There are now a number of Petitions set up in support of Margaret Haywood and I have listed those I have chosen to support here: Petitions set up in support of Margaret Haywood

If you want to let the NMC know how you feel you can do so by emailing this article to them - Just click on the 'SHARE' button below to email them - Copy these email addresses as they are (including the comma) and paste it into the email address window of the 'SHARE' email:, - You might like to add, as I did, that you think their decision is "appalling and shameful"! evil


A D Thompson said...

Margaret Haywood via the BBC Panorama series exposed serious faults in a Sussex Hospital.

The benefit of what she did is that the standards in that hospital have in all official report been confirmed to have been significantly raised. She was proved right and the public of Sussex using that hospital have all benefited.

Rather than a thank you she is now without a job or a career. This in my view is wrong.

Please join this Face book campaign, email the NMC via and then write to your MP and MEP to ensure policy makers press for change.


Fidothedog said...

Missed this one, just done a post on that an given you a link.

If anyone needs an apology and her job back it is this poor woman.

NHS safe in their hands bollocks.

OR Melling said...

Let me get this straight. The nurses and nursing managers who neglected and abused the elderly in the documentary were not struck off for 'failing to follow their obligations as a nurse' but the woman who revealed the abuse and neglect was? Now that makes sense.