A registered nurse has prompted a furious backlash after telling a TV audience that Conservative voters do not deserve to be resuscitated on the NHS.
Miranda Hughes, who worked as a staff nurse before becoming a staff trainer in the health service, made the comments on Channel 5 - sparking an immediate backlash and prompting calls for her to be suspended from work.
Mrs Hughes, 46, told Britain on The Brink, presented by Jeremy Vine: “I’m sorry but if you’ve voted Conservative you do not deserve to be resuscitated by the NHS.”
Her comments were greeted by gasps, boos and cries of disbelief by fellow members of the live audience, with many shaking their heads as she continued: “It’s harsh, but I’m looking at these gentlemen and it makes me so angry,” before adding: “Of course I would [resuscitate her patients], but it’s appalling the way we’ve been treated.”
Mrs Hughes, from Hampshire, had preceded her "resuscitation" comments by stating: “I could not handle the emotional stress of not being able to deliver for my patients. You’re squeezed to a point you can't treat them how you want to treat them. You’re told persistently on the news that care homes are being ring fenced. It’s a lie.”
'I'm losing my job because of the Twitterati'
Mrs Hughes said on Tuesday afternoon that she was set to lose her current job with a south London-based private healthcare and rehabilitation provider as a result of the furore surrounding her comments, though she would not name her employer.
She told The Telegraph: “They can do that to me because of their media policy. I am not allowed to say anything. I have brought the company into disrepute so yes I am being sacked.
“The reason I went on the programme was that you cannot care for your patients, it’s impossible. Because I care too much and even Jeremy Vine said to me working in the NHS broke you.
“Well yes it has and it’s broken me again. I can’t do what’s right and it frustrates the hell out of me because I’ve been sick myself, I’ve had to watch people die and there are no resources to help.
“That is the point I was trying to make and yet I had someone goading me from the other side of the studio and laughing. It made me so angry and I directed the comment at him.”
Mrs Hughes added: “I lost my temper and I said something inappropriate. Now I am going to lose my job because the Twitterati have gone to town.
“I am being vilified for being some monster that doesn’t care and unfortunately the problem is I care too much."
Mrs Hughes could face investigation
Mrs Hughes' comments led to outrage on social media, with one Twitter user called Chris stating: “For the hate filled comment regarding letting anyone die, because of their views coming from a practicing nurse. Miranda Hughes should be suspended forthwith from the NHS and investigated.”
Anna McGovern, a former NSPCC and Childline ambassador and winner of the Diana Award founded by the late Princes of Wales, said: “This NHS nurse who said that 'Conservative voters shouldn’t be resuscitated' should never be allowed to work in any healthcare environment again. I nor anyone would trust her to do her job and save lives.”
Mrs Hughes’s comments came after she branded Brexit “absurd” and “embarrassing" during an earlier appearance in the BBC Question Time audience.
Mrs Hughes, who describes herself on Twitter as “European. Anti-Tory. Nurse. Mum. Cat appreciator. Amdram queen. Repeat dieter and food lover”, is currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council with no restrictions on her ability to practice.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council said it would consider launching a full investigation if there was a complaint submitted to them about comments made by a registered nurse which breached its professional code.
It said: “Our Code is clear that professionals on our register must promote professionalism and trust at all times. Where concerns are raised with us we'll always look into it and consider taking action if needed.”
Mrs Hughes stepped down from a front line nursing role in 2020 and became a trainer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust, as part of the education and workforce development team. She left the trust last year.
A spokesperson for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Miranda Hughes left the trust in early 2021 and is no longer employed by Hampshire Hospitals.”