NMC suspends three nurses in Whorlton Hall abuse investigation

Fitness to practise director says provisional bans are in the interest of public safety

Fitness to practise director says provisional bans are in the interest of public safety

Picture: BBC

Three nurses from Whorlton Hall hospital in County Durham have been suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Nurses Karen Mcghee, Stephen John Robdrup and John Christopher Shield were each issued provisional bans of 18 months by the nursing regulator.

CQC review underway

The decision comes after health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) launched a review earlier this month following the alleged abuse of vulnerable patients at Whorlton Hall.

The CQC ordered the investigation after a BBC Panorama programme appeared to show staff mocking, taunting, intimidating and repeatedly restraining patients at the private hospital.

Announcing the decision, NMC director of fitness to practise Matthew McClelland said an independent panel had made the interim suspension orders in the interest of public safety. 

Public safety

‘We applied for these orders to keep people who use health and care services, and their families, safe,’ he said. ‘We remain in contact with the care provider and with the police as part of their criminal inquiry, as we continue with our regulatory investigation.’

Each nurse’s interim suspension order will be reviewed in the next six months. NMC documentation also states that the regulator’s case examiners are yet to decide if the nurses have a case to answer in relation to the allegations of abuse.

Durham Police arrested ten members of staff from Whorlton Hall in May. The hospital is now closed and the patients have been transferred elsewhere.

A police spokesperson said all ten members of staff have since been released under investigation, with a further two people interviewed in connection with the inquiry. The investigation is in its early stages, the spokesperson added.

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