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Doctor 'having difficulties' absorbing tribunal details

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Doctor 'having difficulties' absorbing tribunal details

A doctor at the centre of a fitness to practice hearing is "having difficulties following and absorbing" the discussion, a tribunal has heard.

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Dr Heather Steen is accused of several failings following the death of nine-year-old Claire Roberts.

She died at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 1996.

The hearing is examining if Dr Steen knowingly and dishonestly acted to conceal the true circumstances of her death.

On Wednesday, it went into a private session to check on Dr Steen.

The nine-year-old's death was examined as part of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry.

Claire was vomiting and it was initially claimed that her death was as a result of a brain virus.

The inquiry, which examined the role of several doctors, investigated the deaths of three children in hospital and two other children, including Claire, who died while receiving hospital care.

Claire was referred by her GP to hospital doctors after showing symptoms of vomiting and drowsiness.

She died after being given an overdose of fluids and medication.

Dr Steen denied claims of a cover-up around Claire's death when she gave testimony to the Hyponatraemia Inquiry in 2012.

The tribunal is inquiring into allegations that between October 1996 and May 2006, Dr Steen knowingly and dishonestly carried out several actions to conceal the true circumstances of the child's death.

On Wednesday, the General Medical Council, which is investigating Dr Steen's actions, told the tribunal that there is evidence of "substandard doctoring".

The GMC also argued that there was evidence of "simple dishonesty" and that Dr Steen's conduct "fell below that which was expected".

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