I often read American news outlets, to keep in touch about what is to be repeated in the UK, and one of the most sickening cases I have recently come across involved ‘Debora Casados, a nurse in the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, reported that a coworker sexually assaulted two other VA staff members and made inappropriate comments to her. … the hospital’s human resources office told Casados and the other staff that they were not allowed to discuss the allegations and threatened them with disciplinary action. Casados was then removed from nursing duties and reassigned to a windowless basement office to scan documents. She was also denied leave to care for her terminally ill mother.

In another case, Charles Johnson, a technologist in the radiology department at the VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina, was hit with a proposed suspension in 2014 after he questioned the methods of a doctor. The proposed suspension was issued by the same doctor. In February, the VA agreed to rescind the proposed suspension and evaluate the method in question’ (CJ Ciaramella,, April 9, 2015).

The first case is a sickening reminder of what might happen to a whistleblower – thrown to the wolves, struck-dumb by employer-friendly laws that drown free speech. The second case is a sad reminder of what has happened to nurses in the UK. Question someone with power over you, who then report you to your governing body (NMC), who believe the accusations they have made up about you, without any burden of proof that a civil court would demand.

So, having trawled my usual sources, and begining to feel despondent about the despotic systems that rule the world of care, I was delighted to stumble on this blog:

‘Though I have no history of patient harm/sentinel events/drug or substance abuse … On March 28, 2014 The Arizona Board of Nursing revoked my nursing license in relation to a patient harm incident I spoke out about in order to get the right thing done. In the process they also violated my first amendment rights to free speech and used this blog during the case in order to bring more charges against me. I have filed with the Superior Court of Arizona to fight this practice because the judgement against me has ramifications for every nurse all over the US and in the same way my first amendment rights were violated, so will other states seek to do the same thing to nurses everywhere. My case was a benchmark case and will be used in the future to establish discipline for other nurses … ‘.

Please visit this blog and send it out; ‘nurseinterupted’ writes in a very imaginative way, rich in allegory: ‘Other nurses have simply taken off their headsets, disconnected with air traffic control, closed their eyes’, and, although I think many that enter caring jobs never had headsets on in the first place, the clarion call: ‘Don’t give up. Everyone’s story deserves to be heard‘, is inspirational, and a rallying cry to all nurses whose faces are shoved in the mud by employers, and not supported by fascist nursing hierarchies.




lenin nightingale 2015



  1. “Too much to think” …in which case (N)o (M)ore (C)orruption applies a little “doublethink” that would see North Korea congratulating itself. For example, The nurse complains about abuses to vulnerable severely LD “patients” in a large NHS LD hospital. The hospital responds as per usual with a ridiculous counter disciplinary allegation then furiously researches for others. The nurse persists through two service-reluctant internal “inquiries” over 18 months during which they remain suspended. Both inquiries find nothing amiss. The hospital finally concedes their allegation of “confidentiality breaching” in relation to their own ridiculous allegation of …illegitimately accessing the careplan of one of the abuse victims (because that’s why careplans are written!) and declares instead that the nurse examined the file.. “for too long”. A referral is immediately submitted to the NMC who later return a no-win-no-pay external solicitor to the Trust who examines the original allegations and of course concludes that they’re too weak for a really successful prosecution. He thinks carefully and being the bright young thing of his law firm comes up with a beaut..i.e.. the complaint about the serious abuse incident in which a small calm vulnerable female patient already secluded in her bedroom for 24hrs a day then put into further locked seclusion for 4 hours to enable staff to take tea breaks was submitted.. without… the abuse victims…. CONSENT !….BRILLIANT !! … It only took six months to work out too !!! …and at £500 a day a bargain !! The NMC get cracking and after four interim hearings involving a total of 12 panelists on £300 a day and having immediately applied career-crippling practice conditions from the outset conclude that … ‘yes..there is a case to answer’. The hearing is heard. They declare that the nurse didn’t follow the Trusts whistleblowing policy. But the nurse cries.. “I submitted two full complaint statements totaling 100 pages plus repeated correspondence …a personal meeting with the Trusts CEO… correspondence with the Trust chairman that prompted two proven inquiry whitewashes… finally an external safeguarding investigation prompting a later unannounced CQC inspection resulting in the nurse being personally thanked by the lead inspector who organized the raid which confirmed everything the nurse had complained about resulting in the hospital being given an urgent six moth improvement programme ! The NMC replies that this is not an exoneration and the public requires continuing protection from the likely harm that this nurse would likely continue to cause unless remaining on indefinite close practice scrutiny. Unfortunately the practice scrutiny conditions spelt unemployment for the nurse because who would employ such a person? She was unable to maintain practice and revalidate so was effectively struck off. She couldn’t pay her mortgage..nearly split with her partner and suffered anxiety that continues to be treated with medication. Friends and relatives continue to worry as she has become obsessed with not only her case but the risk she says of other victims, both patients and staff enduring similar abuses from such services whilst the NMC protects those services so is effectively promoting abuse against patients. What really makes sleeping for her difficult is wondering whether they know what they are doing.. particularly given all the expertise at their disposal.. do their managers understand what lawyers are enabling to happen and if they do then why? Could it be to use prosecution “successes” to claim more funding and a mention in the Queens honours? Surely not.

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