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NMC to decide on Rebecca Leighton order this week

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced that an order banning Stepping Hill nurse Rebecca Leighton from practising is to be reviewed this week.

Ms Leighton spent six weeks in prison on charges relating to four deaths at the hospital – run by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust — which have been linked to saline poisoning.

On 2 August the NMC imposed an “interim order” banning her from practicing as a nurse for 18 months. But she was released last week after the Crown Prosecution Service said it was “no longer appropriate to continue the case” with the evidence currently available.

Ms Leighton’s lawyers have told the media she intends to return to nursing. However, as reported by Nursing Times this week, under NMC rules there must be a hearing before an interim order may be overturned.

The NMC hearing will take place on Wednesday, 14 September.

All charges have been dropped against Ms Leighton, although the CPS has said there was “sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction” for a charge of theft of medication from the hospital. However, it has decided it was not in the public interest to pursue this charge as Ms Leighton has already spent time in custody.