Roberts family issue Judicial Review Proceedings against the General Medical Council.

The parents of Claire Roberts have sought leave to initiate judicial review proceedings in the High Court of Justice Northern Ireland against the General Medical Council (GMC) for their decision not to refer Professor Ian Young to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)

Claire aged 9 died died in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on 23 October 1996. Claire’s family were misled by medical professionals who told them that her death was a result of a viral infection. They were never informed about hyponatremia and what had caused this.

Eventually and after family perseverance, Claire’s death was included in the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-related Deaths that was chaired by Mr Justice O’Hara. The Inquiry reported in January 2018 and chapter 3 of the report is dedicated to Claire Roberts. The report can be found here.

Upon the publication of the report, medical doctors involved in Claire’s care self referred themselves to the GMC. The GMC make the decision to refer medics to the MPTS who have powers to suspend, sanction and remove doctors from the register.

Dr Heather Steen went through the above process and was not fit to practice given her dishonesty and actions to conceal the real circumstances of Claire’s death. News article about this can be read here.

The family of Claire continue to fight for truth, justice and full accountability surrounding the unnecessary death of their beloved daughter.

They believe that Professor Young was involved in the concealment as to the real cause of Claire’s death when brought in by the hospital to review the tragic matter. The family wanted the GMC to properly refer the case against him to the MPTS for examination and determination. However, this year after an internal appeal the GMC have confirmed Professor Young who is now the Chief Scientific Advisor for Northern Ireland will face no action.

We are now instructed by Claire’s parents to seek a judicial review of the decision not to refer Professor Young to the MPTS. It is the Applicants case that the GMC case examiner has misdirected themselves, acted irrationally, demonstrated apparent bias and not provided adequate reasoning.

The matter is listed for leave hearing on 22 May 2024.

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