Medical and Law Societies Mr David Pittaway QC on Medical Law

The Medical Society and the Law Society were very pleased to welcome Mr David Pittaway QC. He spoke engagingly about his speciality, medical law, with particular focus on whistle-blowing in the NHS. We examined in detail the case of Margaret Haywood, a nurse who secretly filmed elderly patients at the Royal Sussex hospital in Brighton for BBC’s Panorama. The audience were surprised by the lax guidelines of the GMC on whistle-blowing, which tacitly discouraged it. Margaret Haywood was struck off by the Nursery and Midwifery Council, but then, after protests by members of the public, the sentence was revoked and replaced with a more sympathetic one. We then considered whether the punishment had been appropriate and a number of excellent questions were asked. Around one hundred people attended, including many pupils from a number of neighbouring schools.

Edward Picton-Turbervill OS MS (MJP)