Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 16:21 UK

Panorama nurse can return to work

Margaret Haywood and Peter Carter, of the Royal College of Nurses

A nurse who was struck off the register for secretly filming care for the elderly at a Brighton hospital has won her battle to return to work.

The High Court approved a settlement between Margaret Haywood and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The striking-off order imposed in April this year will be replaced with a one-year caution, which means she can now work as a nurse.

Ms Haywood filmed at the Royal Sussex Hospital for a BBC Panorama programme.

Footage from Ms Haywood's filming was broadcast in July 2005 and showed examples of neglect, including an elderly patient sitting in clothes he had soiled the night before.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found her guilty of misconduct during a fitness to practise hearing and she appealed in May.

I am now looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back to nursing
Margatet Haywood

Ms Haywood, from Liverpool, said she was delighted with the verdict.

"Losing my registration after 25 years as a nurse was devastating," she said.

"I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the patient and public interest in my case and would like to thank everyone who has supported me, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) for running my appeal.

"I found it hugely comforting over this difficult period.

"I am proud to be a nurse and have always put patients' interests first. I am now looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back to nursing."


Ms Haywood told Panorama in 2005 that she knew the risks she was taking

The RCN said it considered the matter satisfactorily resolved.

"In reaching this conclusion 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," said general secretary Dr Peter Carter.

The NMC said all parties involved agreed that the caution was a fair outcome.

"One of the lessons of Margaret Haywood's 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," it said.

It said it was now developing guidance on how nurses and midwives should raise and escalate concerns, which would be published in the summer of 2010.

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