Health minister backs nurse whistleblower

Health minister Ben Bradshaw believes the striking off of nurse whistleblower Margaret Haywood was 'unduly harsh'.

More than 34,000 people have signed a petition backing nurse Margaret Haywood who was removed from the NMC register after exposing poor patient care at a hospital for the BBC's Panorama programme.

Mr Bradshaw told a parliamentary debate on Wednesday: ‘It is still open to Mrs Haywood to appeal to the High Court against the decision. Her union, the RCN, has said that it will support her in any appeal and has made it clear that it thinks that, given the range of sanctions available, the decision to strike Mrs. Haywood off was unduly harsh. Having studied the report myself, and having considered the wider implications of the ruling on our whistleblowing policy, I have to say that I agree with the RCN’s position.

‘I can confirm …that the NMC does not have the power to overturn the decisions of its panels itself. The appeal must be made to the High Court.

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