Sacked saline inquiry nurse Rebecca Leighton lodges appeal

Rebecca Leighton Rebecca Leighton was in prison for six weeks before charges were dropped

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Sacked Stepping Hill Hospital nurse Rebecca Leighton has lodged an appeal against her dismissal.

Ms Leighton was arrested during an inquiry into contaminated saline solution, linked to three patient deaths at the Stockport hospital.

Criminal charges against her were dropped, but she was sacked by the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust after admitting stealing opiate drugs.

The trust confirmed Ms Leighton's appeal will be heard in February.

A trust spokeswoman said she was unable to comment further until the appeal is concluded.

Poisonings investigated

The nurse, from Heaviley, Stockport, lost her job in early December after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard her admit the drugs theft, which she said she carried out to treat her throat infection.

The NMC lifted a ban order preventing Ms Leighton from nursing, which it had imposed while she was being investigated by police.

She spent six weeks in custody until her release in September.

Police are continuing to investigate the deaths of Stepping Hill Hospital patients, Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and 83-year-old Derek Weaver, who police said were all administered insulin unlawfully.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed it is also examining the poisoning of 19 other patients, after they were first called in to the hospital on 12 July after an experienced nurse reported a higher than normal number of patients on a ward with "unexplained" low blood sugar levels.

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