Prof Stephen Hawking's Former Nurse Struck Off 

Nicky Broyd

March 12, 2019

A nurse who cared for the late Prof Stephen Hawking has been struck off over the standards of care she provided to him.

The scientist, who had motor neurone disease, died last March at the age of 76.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said registered nurse Patricia Dowdy was struck off following an independent panel hearing.

Mrs Dowdy faced charges over her work with the scientist, including not providing appropriate care, financial misconduct, dishonesty, failing to cooperate with the NMC, and not having the correct qualifications.

'Serious Case'

In a statement, the NMC's Director of Fitness to Practise, Matthew McClelland, 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 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.

"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."

The Hawking family issued a statement which 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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