Nurse receives 18-month ban following probe

Nurse receives 18-month ban following probe

22 August 2018

A DOWNPATRICK man is among three nurses who have been banned from working in the health service for the next 18 months.

James Houston, along with the two other nurses, is among more than a dozen staff suspended from Muckamore Abbey, which is at the centre of an abuse investigation.

Last week the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) held a private hearing in Belfast, at which Mr Houston received an interim order which prevents him working in the NHS or private sector, The Irish News has reported.

Mr Houston had been based at Muckamore Abbey, a regional facility that cares for adults with severe learning disabilities.

It is being investigated by police and the NHS following allegations of patients being abused by staff.

It has since emerged that another two Muckamore-based nurses, Stephen Nixon and 

Patrick McAllister, also received 18-month suspensions following the two separate hearings between Wednesday and Friday.

In all three cases, a lawyer representing the NMC made an application for the details to be dealt with in private, arguing that the ongoing PSNI 

probe and NHS safeguarding investigation outweighed any public interest and could be prejudicial.

All three men were referred by their employer and a full NMC hearing is still to take place while the regulator carries out its own investigation. 

A major police probe is still ongoing at Muckamore, with more than 70 incidents of alleged ill treatment being examined.