Undercover Nurse struck off

#1
A nurse who secretly filmed for the BBC to reveal the neglect of elderly patients at a hospital has been struck off for misconduct.

Margaret Haywood, 58, filmed at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for a BBC Panorama programme in July 2005.

She was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council on Thursday after being a nurse for more than 20 years.

The panel said she "followed the behest of the filmmakers... rather than her obligations as a nurse".

Ms Haywood, of Liverpool, said: "I was convinced that it was the right thing to do at the time as, in fact, I had reported the issues and nothing had been done.

"I felt I owed it to the people on the ward."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/sussex/8002559.stm


I am unsure as to why she has been struck off, unless it's to discourage similar actions of concerned Nursing staff exposing the shortfalls in patient care?

Will the RCN and UNISON be taking up her case?
 
#4
From the BBC report...

She was found guilty of misconduct on Wednesday following a fitness to practise hearing.

Panorama believes that Margaret Haywood has done the elderly population of this country a great service

BBC spokesman
The chair of the panel, Linda Read, said Ms Haywood had prioritised the filming and did not fulfil her obligations as a nurse.

"In the view of the panel, this was a major breach of the code of conduct.

"A patient should be able to trust a nurse with his/her physical condition and psychological wellbeing without that confidential information being disclosed to others.

"Although the conditions on the ward were dreadful, it was not necessary to breach confidentiality to seek to improve them by the method chosen.

She said the misconduct was "fundamentally incompatible with being a nurse".

"The registrant embarked upon filming many vulnerable, elderly patients in the last stages of their lives, knowing that it was unlikely that they would be able to give any meaningful consent to that process, in circumstances where their dignity was most compromised.

"The registrant could have attempted to address shortcomings by other means. But this was never a course of action which she fully considered."

And it will be reported further here:

Nursing & Midwifery Conduct and Competence Comitte Hearings

This is very much a part of our code of conduct and as such will be subject to disciplinary hearing in the public view.
 
#5
From what I gathered it is essentially, as you quote, because she,

"followed the behest of the filmmakers... rather than her obligations as a nurse"

ie, while concentrating on getting the best footage to back up her complaints, she was neglecting the wellbeing of those in her care.

I don't think this programme has aired in Australia (I certainly haven't seen it if it has), so I'm probably not best placed to judge the truth of that claim.

This business of 'undercover journalism' (I am aware that the British Army has recently been subject to the same treatment), seems to a particularly British phenomenon.

I sincerely hope it doesn't catch on down here.

We convicts don't need that degree of scrutiny.
 
#7
Massive confidentiality issues would be one criticism of the nurse. Secret filming, even for clinical reasons, has got doctros struck off several times before now.

I'd be interested to know if she did anything special for the filmmakers or if she just went about her business with a camera in her buttonhole. If the former situation is infact the case, then she doesn't really have a leg to stand on.
 
#8
Almost a case of which is in the bigger public interest? Difficult to call, but given the risk - the BBC seem to have quite happily left her to it, almost similar to the undercover soldier.
 
#9
reasons this nurse got a strike from the register explained below 8)



The Code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The people in your care must be able to trust you with their health and wellbeing.

To justify that trust, you must

•make the care of people your first concern, treating them as individuals and respecting their dignity
•work with others to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of those in your care, their families and carers, and the wider community
•provide a high standard of practice and care at all times
•be open and honest, act with integrity and uphold the reputation of your profession

Respect people's confidentiality (Confidentiality advice sheet, PDF)

•You must respect people's right to confidentiality
•You must ensure people are informed about how and why information is shared by those who will be providing their care
•You must disclose information if you believe someone may be at risk of harm, in line with the law of the country in which you are practising


Ensure you gain consent (Consent advice sheet, PDF)

•You must ensure that you gain consent before you begin any treatment or care
•You must respect and support people's rights to accept or decline treatment and care
•You must uphold people's rights to be fully involved in decisions about their care
•You must be aware of the legislation regarding mental capacity, ensuring that people who lack capacity remain at the centre of decision making and are fully safeguarded
•You must be able to demonstrate that you have acted in someone's best interests if you have provided care in an emergency

Be impartial

•You must not abuse your privileged position for your own ends
•You must ensure that your professional judgment is not influenced by any commercial considerations
Uphold the reputation of your profession

•You must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health
•You must cooperate with the media only when you can confidently protect the confidential information and dignity of those in your care
•You must uphold the reputation of your profession at all times

http://www.nmc-uk.org/aArticle.aspx?ArticleID=3056
 
#10
I am trying to imagine myself laying in a hospital bed, feeling poorly & generally a bit sorry for myself, & then finding out that the nurse who I was relying upon for my wellbeing was in fact playing 'secret squirrel' on behalf of a media company.

I have no doubt she BELIEVED she was acting in her patient's best interests. From what I have read, I believe she failed them spectacularly.
 
#11
The BBC have a responsibility to their secret agent in my view, they must have known what would happen when her cover was blown. And the disciplinary hearing result was correct, because she is also in a disciplined profession. But she should be given a job as independent inspector of such establishments. What is needed now is another hearing to decide what to do with the c unts who managed the place.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
As a nurse I'm glad she got struck off. She was playing "undercover" and not doing her job. It really was incompatible with her role as a nurse to those in her immediate care when she was on that particular ward. her concerns about the state of the ward dont come in to it. She was nursing patients, each one of them deserved total commitment and confidentiality. They did not get it.

I do not know if she was paid for her undercover experience but if she did get paid, it was double standards. I understand concerns with appalling situations in the NHS, and I take professional pride in trying and often succedding, in making the patient's lot better, even if management gnash their teeth in the process. If she wanted to rebel, there are better, and smarter ways of doing it
 
#13
mercurydancer said:
As a nurse I'm glad she got struck off. She was playing "undercover" and not doing her job. It really was incompatible with her role as a nurse to those in her immediate care when she was on that particular ward. her concerns about the state of the ward dont come in to it. She was nursing patients, each one of them deserved total commitment and confidentiality. They did not get it.

She had already complained.

Ms Haywood, of Liverpool, said: "I was convinced that it was the right thing to do at the time as, in fact, I had reported the issues and nothing had been done.

"I felt I owed it to the people on the ward."
She was a Nurse who saw shortfalls in the care of her patients, was she supposed to run The Ward single handed? What other options should she have followed?

If that has improved the quality of life in the The Ward, I can't fault the woman. It's a pity it was a career ending decision.

Edited once for beer fingers
 
#14
Agree with the other nurses on here, the decision is the correct one.

There are any number of ways you can whistle blow that don't involve filming elderly or dying patients without their consent and although her legal person stated that consent was obtained afterwards where possible it's a little difficult to obtain consent from a dead person.
 
#15
psychobabble said:
Agree with the other nurses on here, the decision is the correct one.

There are any number of ways you can whistle blow that don't involve filming elderly or dying patients without their consent and although her legal person stated that consent was obtained afterwards where possible it's a little difficult to obtain consent from a dead person.
Agreed Psychobabble. I had not realised the timing of consent until seeing the BBC report on it this evening. Does appear that Panarama could have made efforts to gain consent before going anywhere the ward with a camera.

So, whilst agreeing that the decision is the "correct" one - does the fact that she approached the BBC represent a failure in Royal Sussex NHS whistleblowing procedures? Always difficult to tell from 25 mins of footage, but she did not come across as someone who had not attempted to raise her concerns internally (IMHO).
 
#17
Whether the whistle blowing policy failed is difficult to tell without knowing exactly what she discussed with the trust. When I was a student there was an inquiry into the hospital where I was placed that involved very senior board members being fired and wholesale changes in the treatment of patients that resulted from two student nurses approaching CHI, the fore-runner to the Healthcare Commission, so there are other ways without breaching confidentiality, which she clearly did, in this way.

Even talking to the local press may have helped. It's worth noting that she had worked for the BBC before as an advisor so it's possible (though this is only a guess) that she got a wee bit carried away with the undercover aspect of it all and unless I've missed it it isn't clear who asked who to carry it out.
 
#18
psychobabble said:
...
Even talking to the local press may have helped. It's worth noting that she had worked for the BBC before as an advisor so it's possible (though this is only a guess) that she got a wee bit carried away with the undercover aspect of it all and unless I've missed it it isn't clear who asked who to carry it out.
Ah, plot thickens - puts a very interesting perspective on it. Maybe not quite the innocent with nowhere left to turn, etc.

Cheers pschobabble. If you have five mins, would appreciate your thughts re my post on http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=65269/start=20.html
 
#19
mercurydancer said:
As a nurse I'm glad she got struck off. She was playing "undercover" and not doing her job. It really was incompatible with her role as a nurse to those in her immediate care when she was on that particular ward. her concerns about the state of the ward dont come in to it. She was nursing patients, each one of them deserved total commitment and confidentiality. They did not get it.

I do not know if she was paid for her undercover experience but if she did get paid, it was double standards. I understand concerns with appalling situations in the NHS, and I take professional pride in trying and often succedding, in making the patient's lot better, even if management gnash their teeth in the process. If she wanted to rebel, there are better, and smarter ways of doing it
But is there? What about the Mid Staffordshire Hospitial? 1200 patients died over 3 years in the care of the NHS. Did Doctors and Nurses raise concerns? Did the Board of Directors do anything about those concerns?
I hope to God it was purely the fault of the Directors hell bent on sticking to targets. And in that case, if the Professional Staff did raise concerns and nothing was done about those concerns why the hell didn't those Professional Staff have the balls to say anything to someone outside the NHS.

If it takes exposure in the Media to get action taken then those Staff should have gone to the Media to force action. The NHS is not a private company, it is not a business. It is a service paid for by tax payers, some of whom were let down by the very service they had paid by. The blindness of the Medical profession as a whole is frankly disgusted and up there with shooting the messenger cos it's all bad news
 
#20
Kitmarlowe said:
mercurydancer said:
As a nurse I'm glad she got struck off. She was playing "undercover" and not doing her job. It really was incompatible with her role as a nurse to those in her immediate care when she was on that particular ward. her concerns about the state of the ward dont come in to it. She was nursing patients, each one of them deserved total commitment and confidentiality. They did not get it.

I do not know if she was paid for her undercover experience but if she did get paid, it was double standards. I understand concerns with appalling situations in the NHS, and I take professional pride in trying and often succedding, in making the patient's lot better, even if management gnash their teeth in the process. If she wanted to rebel, there are better, and smarter ways of doing it
But is there? What about the Mid Staffordshire Hospitial? 1200 patients died over 3 years in the care of the NHS. Did Doctors and Nurses raise concerns? Did the Board of Directors do anything about those concerns?
I hope to God it was purely the fault of the Directors hell bent on sticking to targets. And in that case, if the Professional Staff did raise concerns and nothing was done about those concerns why the hell didn't those Professional Staff have the balls to say anything to someone outside the NHS.

If it takes exposure in the Media to get action taken then those Staff should have gone to the Media to force action. The NHS is not a private company, it is not a business. It is a service paid for by tax payers, some of whom were let down by the very service they had paid by. The blindness of the Medical profession as a whole is frankly disgusted and up there with shooting the messenger cos it's all bad news
HERE HERE!!!
 

Latest Threads