Nurse who took care of Stephen Hawking for 15 years suspended over serious allegations

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Patricia Dowdy, a nurse who provided care for legendary scientist Stephen Hawking for more than 15 years have been suspended over serious allegations concerning the service she offered to the physicist. The decision was made by a secret tribunal after the scientist's family is believed to have lodged a complaint.

However, details of the case and the serious misconduct she committed have been kept under the wraps by the authority which regulates nursing. It has been also learned that the public and media are banned from the hearing due to the graveness of the misconduct by the nurse. Due to the severity of the allegations, Dowdy was suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) soon after the claims came to light.

The hearing, which is in progress, will soon decide the fate of Dowdey, but in all probabilities, no details of the case will be unveiled in front of the general public. After serving Hawking for more than 15 years, Dowdey stopped working for the scientist two years before his death which happened in March 2018.

After the news of suspension, Dowdey told the press that she is very much disappointed with the decision made by the NMC.

"Our legislation and guidance are very clear that hearings will usually take place in public. In some cases, including this particular case, there are reasons why this doesn't 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," said Matthew McClelland, Director of Fitness to Practise at the NMC, reported.

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