STEPHEN Hawking’s former nurse has been STRUCK OFF for misconduct over the late professor’s care.
The nursing register took the action against Patrica Dowdy after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found that she “failed to provide the standards of good, professional care that we expect and Professor deserved”.
The NMC said Mrs Dowdy had faced multiple misconduct charges in relation to the care she was providing to Prof Hawking – including, financial misconduct, dishonesty, not providing appropriate care and failing to cooperate with the NMC and not having the correct qualifications.
Matthew McClelland, director of Fitness to Practise at the NMC, said: “The panel has found Mrs Dowdy failed to provide the standards of good, professional care that we expect and Professor Hawking deserved.
“As a result, Mrs Dowdy will no longer be able to practice 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.
“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.”
Prof Hawking was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author known for groundbreaking books such as 1988’s A Brif History of Time. He was also director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
He was diagnosed with a slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease in 1963 and died in March 2018 at the age of 76.