Stephen Hawking’s former nurse struck off for failings in his care

One of Stephen Hawking’s former nurses has been struck off after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) ruled that she “failed to provide the standards of good, professional care that we expect and Professor Hawking deserved”.

The NMC said Patricia Dowdy had faced multiple misconduct charges in relation to the care she was providing to the eminent physicist including financial misconduct, dishonesty, not providing appropriate care and failing to cooperate with the NMC and not having the correct qualifications.

Hawking died in March last year aged 76.

Matthew McClelland, the director of Fitness to Practise at the NMC, said Dowdy would not be allowed to practise as a nurse. “As the public rightly expects, in serious cases such as this – where a nurse has failed in their duty of care and has not been able to evidence to the panel that they have learned from their mistakes and be fit to practise – we will take action,” he said.

“We have remained in close contact with the Hawking family throughout this case and I am grateful to them – as they approach the anniversary of Professor Hawking’s death – and others for sharing their concerns with us. My thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

“As the regulator, we will always listen when concerns about the fitness of nurses, midwives or nursing associates are raised with us so that we can investigate further for the benefit of everyone involved.”

A spokesman for the Hawking family said: “They had complete confidence in the NMC, and their thorough investigation, and trusted they would come to an independent conclusion based on the facts in the case.”


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