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Rebecca Leighton must still face NMC panel before she can be reinstated

The nurse cleared of charges relating to deaths in Stepping Hill Hospital will have to face a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel before she can return to nursing.

Rebecca Leighton, a registered nurse at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, was released last Friday after being held for six weeks while police investigated the deaths of four patients at the trust, which have been linked to poisoning with saline solution.

A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service said it was “no longer appropriate to continue the case” with the evidence currently available.

Ms Leighton’s solicitor Carl Richmond was quoted this week in the Manchester Evening News as saying she “wants to clear her name professionally”. He said: “She wants the opportunity to have her suspension lifted and then she will make the decision what to do next.”

However, the case will have to be reviewed by the NMC before Ms Leighton can be reinstated as a nurse. A spokeswoman for the NMC could not comment on the case but confirmed that “interim orders need to be reviewed by the interim order panel to be lifted”.

Ms Leighton was banned from practicing as a nurse for 18 months in an interim order imposed on 2 August in a hearing of the NMC’s investigating committee. She had the option of attending the committee via video link from prison, but chose to absent herself.

Due to ongoing proceedings the comments have been disabled on this story.