An emergency care nurse who lost her job after speaking up about the management of east Kent hospitals is attracting massive support from the community.
Jacky Moskovits was sacked by the hospitals trust after raising her concerns online and describing its former chief executive Matthew Kershaw as a “D***HEAD”.
The Canterbury Journal has revealed how bosses threw the book at the mother-of-four, accusing her of bringing the trust into disrepute before firing her for gross misconduct.
But supporters argue that she is simply guilty of speaking her mind.
Kai Preik described her dismissal as the loss of “another great nurse”. He said: “She voiced her opinion and the only reason they cared is because they were being reviewed and it could have harmed their rating.
“I’d rather have a loud-mouthed nurse who will save my life than a keyboard warrior in PR with no clue.”
Ex-nurse Patricia Potts said: “Well done Jacky. Everyone has a right to know exactly what hospital management are up to.
“It is the management action that brings the trust into disrepute, not the voice of a nurse.”
Ms Moskovits was fired in November. She posted the comment about Mr Kershaw on Facebook after he resigned as east Kent hospitals trust chief executive in September.
Earlier in the year, she had made comments critical of the trust’s reorganisation programme and working conditions in the over-stretched emergency centre.
Retired nurse Peggy Pryer, now secretary of Concern for Health in East Kent (Chek), remembers Ms Moskovits as a tireless activist when the campaign group was first formed.
“On one occasion in about 2002 she did a 12-hour night shift at the hospital and then got on the coach with us to go to London,” Mrs Pryer recalled.
“She was desperate to support Chek and prevent the downgrading of the Kent and Canterbury back then. We were on our way to Downing Street as we wanted to get the message out to Tony Blair, who was PM then.
“It showed just how much Jacky cared and still cares for hospital services in east Kent.”
Ms Moskovits, who lives in Wincheap and no longer works, admits she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received.
“The reaction has been amazing,” she said. “I’ve received loads of messages from people in east Kent and also people much further afield who read the story via the Canterbury Journal.
“I have spent years reporting concerns about patient safety and this is the end result. No wonder staff are too scared to speak out.”
The East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, which has its offices at the Kent and Canterbury, said this week that it could not comment on individual disciplinary cases.
A spokesman added that the Nursing and Midwifery Council has guidance on the use of social media.
But Lib Dem county councillor for Canterbury Ida Linfield has claimed that she was told NHS staff would not be sacked for speaking up.