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Whistleblower cleared by the NMC

A nurse who went undercover to expose neglect on a hospital ward has had disciplinary charges against her dismissed.

Margaret Haywood, 58, from Liverpool, carried out secret filming at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for the BBC Panorama programme.

It highlighted failures to deliver basic care to elderly patients that the Nursing Midwifery Council panel said “rendered many of their lives miserable”.

The panel in London ruled that there was no evidence that Miss Haywood had broken the NHS Trust’s whistleblowing policy by raising “serious concerns” in the media.

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It also ruled there was no case to answer on a second allegation that she failed to assist colleagues when a patient was having a seizure.

Although Miss Haywood admitted breaching patient confidentiality, panel chairwoman Linda Read said: “We have reached the decision that the registrant has no case to answer in respect of both those charges.”

She said that under the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust policy for whistleblowing, Miss Haywood had been entitled to disclose concerns to the media.

Copyright Press Association 2008

NHS whistleblowing policy