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Nurse takes NMC to court to help whistleblowers & restore her reputation

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A nurse is taking the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) to court to fight for the rights of fellow whistleblowers and to restore her reputation.

Vasanta Suddock, a Nurse from Devon, told the NursingTimes that she thinks the NMC‘s disciplinary process is significantly weighted against whistleblowers and is now taking the regulator to court for ruining her professional reputation.

Ms Suddock was the matron of a care home when it fell into administration. During the liquidation process she raised concerns around the way the home was run. She claims the organisation made a string of false allegations against her which saw her referred to the NMC.

She was subsequently removed from the nursing register for professional misconduct in 2015.

However, unhappy with the outcome of the trial she took it to the high court. Justice Andrews ruled there was evidence of a “conspiracy” to ruin her reputation and the NMC’s decision was set aside.

She is now seeking damaged of £500,000 for lost income and damages to her professional reputation.

A preliminary hearing date has been set for 30th of June 2017.

Ms Suddock says her primary concern is that nurses who make the decision to whistle-blow will not be protected despite acting in their patients best interests.

The NMC confirmed it knew about the case but refused to comment further; “We can confirm that we have received Ms Suddock’s claim and we are defending it”.  “As such, it isn’t appropriate for us to comment because the court proceedings are live”.

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Midwifery

Royal College of Midwives to end campaign to promote ‘normal births’

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The Royal College of Midwives ends their campaign for “normal births” to avoid making mothers who opt for medical interventions feel like failures.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been running a continuous campaign since 2005 to encourage expectant mothers to give birth without medical interventions such as; epidurals, inductions and caesareans.

Currently, around 40% of mothers give birth without medical interventions. 20% less than 30 years ago. But experts say a significant number of these are due to the increase in more risky pregnancies.

Prof Cathy Warwick, the Chief Executive of the RCM, said;

“There was a danger that if you just talk about normal births – and particularly if you call it a campaign – it kind of sounds as if you’re only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention”.

“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately, that seems to be how some women feel.”

“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel.”

Midwives, will instead, start to use the term “physiological births” to describe those without interventions.

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Pancreatic cancer patients to have routine access to life extending drug after new deal

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NICE has recommended nab-paclitaxel for routine NHS use after the company agreed a confidential price discount and provided more evidence on its effectiveness.

Nab-paclitaxel, also known as Abraxane, made by Celgene will be routinely available as an option for patients with pancreatic cancer that has progressed.

When Abraxane is added to a standard chemotherapy, called gemcibatine the evidence has found it extends life by an average of 2.4 months.

If other combination chemotherapy treatments are unsuitable for a patient, NICE recommends offering Abraxane instead of this standard chemotherapy on its own.

It works by blocking the action of the proteins within cancer cells that cause them to grow and divide.

NICE has reviewed its guidance from 2015 which did not recommend Abraxane for routine NHS use for not being cost-effective.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: The life expectancy of pancreatic cancer is poor, with patients usually living for only up to 6 months. It’s incredibly important that patients and families affected by this disease are able to have routine access to this life extending treatment.”

There are almost 10,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer each year in the UK, and less than 1% survive for 10 or more years.

This is a final appraisal determination for Abraxane. The company, healthcare professionals and patient/carer organisations now have until Friday 1 September to appeal the decision.

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