A nursing director who ran in the London Marathon while on extended sick-leave has been suspended by his trust.

Nursing and quality director David Moorat, 61, is one of several senior managers from North Lakeland Healthcare trust in Cumbria whose work was investigated by a government-appointed panel following allegations about the mistreatment of elderly patients.

Investigators uncovered disturbing evidence that elderly patients at Garlands Psychiatric Hospital - now known as Carleton Clinic - were mistreated.Hospital managers were said to have operated a flawed disciplinary procedure and failed to act effectively on an earlier inquiry into abuse in 1996.

Mr Moorat, on sick leave since November, was told of his suspension on 2 May.The move came a few weeks after he admitted completing the 26mile marathon in under four hours.

'I have a lot of aggression and decided to run the London Marathon in order to help with that aggression, ' said Mr Moorat, who has worked in nursing for 37 years. He said he was saddened by the panel's revelations.

Trust acting chief executive Geoff Bland said: 'As part of the ongoing investigation under the trust disciplinary procedure, in relation to the external review, Mr Moorat was suspended from his duties upon his return to work.'

The trust's chief executive, Alan Place, was suspended shortly after the panel began its inquiry, while medical director Bill McNulty has been absent from the hospital since late last year.

Former trust chair Mary Styth, who first called for an inquiry, was sacked by health secretary Alan Milburn on publication of the panel's report.