Private misconduct hearing for Stephen Hawking nurse Patricia Dowdy from Ipswich

Professor Stephen Hawking on his visit to the Kesgrave Community Centre to visit the Headway confere

Professor Stephen Hawking on his visit to the Kesgrave Community Centre to visit the Headway conference Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich nurse who is accused of misconduct over her care of world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking is having her case heard in private.

Professor Stephen Hawking Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Professor Stephen Hawking Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Patricia Dowdy, 61, has been handed an interim suspension by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which regulates the profession, and her misconduct hearing began on February 11.

It is understood Dowdy worked for the Cambridge University scientist and author of A Brief History of Time for 15 years.

Professor Hawking died in March last year at the age of 76, having lived with motor neurone disease for more than 50 years.

Dowdy’s hearing - which is set to be concluded next week - is being heard behind closed doors.


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The NMC, who would not give details on the nature of the charge, said at times the individual needs of those involved came before public interest.

Matthew McClelland, director of Fitness to Practise at the Nursing and Midwifery Council said: “Our legislation and guidance is very clear that hearings will usually take place in public.

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“In some cases, including this particular case, there are reasons why this may not always happen - due to the health of those involved in the case, or that the allegations are related to a health condition of the nurse or midwife.

“Public interest is always considered but the panel must always put the individual needs of all those involved, including families, patients, nurses, midwives and nursing associates, first.”

The NMC hearing is taking place at the NMC’s London headquarters in Stratford Place, Montfichet Road.

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