High Court backs return to work for nurse whistleblower

The High Court has agreed a settlement meaning nurse whistleblower Margaret Haywood's striking off has been replaced with a one-year caution.

Dr Peter Carter

The new punishment, agreed by the NMC and the nurse, means that Ms Haywood who was removed from the NMC register after exposing poor patient care at a hospital for BBC's Panorama programme can continue working.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘It has been recognised that, while the case raised complex questions about competing duties, Margaret had an unblemished career as a nurse and contributed significantly to the care of patients.'

Kathy George, the NMC's chief executive and registrar, said: ‘One of the lessons of this case is that nurses and midwives need clearer information about how to appropriately raise and escalate concerns in a way that is safe for patients and in a way that will not bring them into conflict with their code of conduct.

‘We are currently developing guidance with patients' groups, the RCN, the Royal College of Midwives, Unison, Unite/CPHVA and organisations such as Public Concern at Work on how nurses and midwives should appropriately raise and escalate concerns. This will be published in the summer of 2010.'

Editors' Blog - Whistleblower Margaret Haywood's sweet taste of victory

Neil Durham

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