Tamper quiz nurse in sacking appeal
The sacked nurse at the centre of alleged saline tampering at a hospital has launched an appeal against her dismissal, sources have confirmed.
Rebecca Leighton, 28, was released without charge six weeks after being arrested on suspicion of murder when patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester, were poisoned.
Charges that she tampered with saline solution with intent to endanger life were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) later lifted its suspension of Miss Leighton, who has always denied the allegations, and said she could return to Stepping Hill if the hospital approved.
During the NMC disciplinary hearing she admitted to the theft of opiate-based drugs but said they were for her own use to treat a throat infection.
It emerged earlier this month that she had been sacked following an internal disciplinary hearing at Stepping Hill into the drug thefts. Sources have now confirmed that Miss Leighton has lodged an appeal against her dismissal. It is understood that her appeal will be heard in February.
Miss Leighton spent more than six weeks in custody but was freed on September 2 after proceedings against her were discontinued due to insufficient evidence.
The alarm was first raised by hospital staff on July 12 when a higher than normal number of patients were reported to have "unexplained" low blood sugar levels amid fears that saline solution had been contaminated with insulin.
Greater Manchester Police completed the first phase of their inquiries earlier this month and determined that 19 people were unlawfully administered insulin. In October, detectives said they were looking at around 42 potential victims who may have been harmed by the contaminated solution.
Detectives and medical experts have reviewed those cases and have now concluded that 19 people were unlawfully poisoned and 21 patients have been eliminated from the inquiry.