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« The left and liberalism | Main | The Damien Green affair »
Thursday
Apr162009

Is the Nursing & Midwifery Council a tool of government?

So, Margaret Haywood, the nurse who secretly filmed abuse of elderly patients at the Royal Brighton Hospital has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 

The decision makes no sense to most people. What Margaret Haywood did was so manifestly in the public interest, so the decision to strike her off looks bizarre. Of course, we should never, ever make the mistake that professional bodies like the NMC are there to protect the interests of the public, despite what they might say on their websites. They exist solely to protect their members - that goes without saying. And if their members are abusing patients then they will protect them just the same. In these circumstances Margaret Haywood was probably expendable.

There's another interesting facet to the NMC though. Although it is a charity, the NMC doesn't appear to be a candidate for fakecharities.org - its income seems to be derived almost entirely legitimately, from membership fees and so on. But tucked away in the notes to its accounts is this interesting fact:

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is accountable to the Privy Council. The Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 sets out the nature of the relationship between the NMC and the Privy Council and the reporting mechanisms required. Whilst not accountable to the Department of Health, the NMC has regular contact with the Department on policy and other matters.

Could this explain the bizarre decision in the Haywood case?

 

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Reader Comments (5)

Not their first dotty decision:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/3595740.stm

I have a hazy recollection of their making a fuss about male midwives some years ago but getting (rightly) overruled by equal opportunities legislation.

Feel very sorry for Ms Haywood, though. I hope the BBC will be making good her subsequent losses of earnings...
Apr 16, 2009 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
I doubt if this is government directed; I imagine even this cretinous liebore government would like to see standards improve in the NHS - after all, they have pissed all that money up the wall. I think what is happening here is complacent "professionals" circling the wagons to punish someone who spoke truth to power & embarrassed some decent chaps.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix
I think the General Teaching Council is something similar, set up by NuLab, staff appointed by Government, function to control teachers. Why the teaching unions ever agreed to it is beyond me
Apr 19, 2009 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJon Gregory
http://www.hpc-uk.org/

"Of course, we should never, ever make the mistake that professional bodies like the NMC are there to protect the interests of the public, despite what they might say on their websites. They exist solely to protect their members - that goes without saying"
http://www.hpc-uk.org/
This one charges "members" and does nothing to benefit them it is set up to protect the public but paid for by the proessionals who have to be members of it in order to practice. It depends which professionals you are talking about some have got strong bodies to protect them, some are more wimpish!!
Apr 19, 2009 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterelizabeth
@Jon - why would you expect the Teachers' Unions to object to something set up by NuLab and run by the State? They're all the same.
Apr 21, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

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