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Any Questions answers whistleblowing question

It was left to BBC Radio 4′s Any Questions at the weekendto maintain the momentum on the question of whistleblowing.

With the excitement of political smear campaigns, the impending Budget and the possible reduction in the road speed limitdominating the news in recent days, it would be easy for the subject of whistleblower’srights to fall off the agenda.

But Any Questions had a lively debate on thederegistration of NHS nurse Margaret Haywood who helped to secretly film the poortreatment of elderly patients for BBC1′s Panorama.

The panel was split on the question of whether Haywoodwas a heroine or a villain, with three of them either cool on her actions or opposing them.

Only Welsh Assembly member Helen Mary Jones, of PlaidCymru, was supportive, pointing out that the families of the patients hadconsented to the filming.

Europe minister Caroline Flint, Tory party chairman EricPickles and The Times’s Giles Coren had serious misgivings.

The debate is worth a listen and starts at the 33min10sec mark on iPlayer.

Any Answers, by contrast, drew a majority of support forHaywood, although one dissenter likened her actions to a betrayal of her colleagues.

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For more views, read my colleague Keith Sellick’s blog on thecontradiction in whistleblowing policy and Peter Beresford’s on why socialworkers should be “very afraid” of the Haywood ruling.

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