A NURSE who accidentally scalded a mentally-handicapped patient to death has been allowed to return to work.

But the woman has been disciplined and moved to a non-nursing role after the tragedy at Prudhoe Hospital, Northumberland.

Meanwhile, Northgate and Prudhoe Trust, which also runs Worthgate Hospital, Morpeth, has fitted temperature control valves to all of its pipes.

The action comes after a lengthy investigation into the accident.

Catherine Hourie, 39, who suffered from learning difficulties, was put into a hoist and lowered into the bath. She was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, but died five days later.

Nurses are supposed to test the temperature of the water.

The middle-aged nurse, who has not been named, had been employed by the trust for just eight months.

The nurse, who was represented by the union, Unison, was interviewed by police and suspended, but last month was allowed to return to work in a non-nursing role at Prudhoe Hospital.

An inquest has yet to be held into the death.

Terry Anderson, director of operational services at the trust, said: "This has been a tragic accident and we have every sympathy for the family who we have been keeping in touch with.

"The nurse has been disciplined. She is now working in a non-nursing role. We have also reviewed all the water outlets across the whole of the trust and fitted temperature control valves to the hot water outlets.