Heather Steen tribunal finds fitness to practice 'impaired' after dishonesty over child's death

Claire Roberts died at the Royal Belfast Hospital for sick children in 1996 from an overdose of fluids

A medical practitioner's tribunal has found that Dr Heather Steen's fitness to practice medicine is "impaired" by reason of misconduct.

It comes after the same tribunal ruled that Steen acted dishonestly in trying to conceal the circumstances of Claire Roberts' death in 1996. 

The nine-year-old died of hyponatraemia at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children - the fatal condition was caused by an overdose of fluids. 

Claire's family were initially told that a virus spread from her stomach to her brain and killed her.

More than 20 years later the Hyponatraemia Inquiry in 2018 ruled that Claire's death was caused by negligent care. 

Dr Steen was a consultant paediatrician with the Belfast Trust before retiring in 2021. 

It has been a long wait for Claire's parents, who have campaigned tirelessly to uncover the truth behind their little girl's death. 

The tribunal is set to reconvene on Friday to determine what sanction, if any, to impose on Steen's registration. 

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