The Nursing and Midwife Council in England on Tuesday barred Stephen Hawking’s nurse from practicing for her perceived inappropriate care of the late physicist and for financial misconduct.
The report revealed that the NMC reached this decision three years after issuing an interim suspension to Patricia Dowdy in 2016. The decision from NMC comes a year after Hawking passed away in his home at Cambridge.
The original misconduct was said to have occurred in Cambridge during Dowdy’s 15 years of employment as Hawking’s primary caretaker. But despite her suspension in 2016, the panel wasn’t able to start hearings until early this year. The hearings in question went into claims of financial misconduct, dishonesty, not providing appropriate care, failing to cooperate with the NMC and lacking correct qualifications.
The decision to strike Dowdy from working came after closed-door hearings that began in early February with the NMC.
“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 give evidence to the panel that they have learned from their mistakes and be fit to practice – we will take action,” said Matthew McClelland, the NMC’s Director of Fitness to Practice.
“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.”