In a case that has been widely reported, the MPTS found that Dr Steen acted dishonestly in trying to conceal the circumstances of Claire Roberts’ death. Claire died at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 1996 and, at the time, her parents were told a viral infection had spread from her stomach to her brain.
However, in 2018, a public inquiry concluded Claire had died from an overdose of fluids and medication caused by negligent care.
Dr Steen denied allegations from the GMC that she acted dishonestly and engaged in a cover-up.
Dr Steen unsuccessfully applied twice for voluntary removal from the GMC register.
A Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal (MTB) has found the majority of allegations against Dr Steen proven.
Allegations, which were proved, included:
- A failure to repeat a blood test on two occasions
- Misrepresenting to Claire’s parents that the autopsy report had identified a viral infection as the cause of death
- Writing an inaccurate letter to Claire’s GP
- Failing to accurately disclose medical information in a statement in 2005 for the coroner’s inquest
- Signing a death certificate when she knew she had insufficient information available about Claire’s cause of death
- Failing to report Claire’s death to the coroner when she knew it was sudden and unexpected
Other allegations were not proved, such as the allegation that Dr Steen had failed to review whether encephalitis played a part in Claire’s death following receipt of the autopsy report.
The tribunal will now consider whether Dr Steen’s fitness to practise is impaired or not and, if so, what the appropriate santion.