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Child deaths report due out in autumn

By Sue Doherty

An inquiry into the deaths of five children in Northern Ireland hospitals will publish its report in the autumn.

The chairman of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry, John O'Hara QC, said the long-awaited report will be delivered in a few months time.

The inquiry was set up in 2004 after allegations that fatal errors had been made by hospital staff administering intravenous fluids.

It investigated the deaths of Adam Strain (4), who died in November 1995; Claire Roberts, who died aged nine in October 1996, and Raychel Ferguson (9), who died in June 2001.

It also examined events following the death of 17-month-old Lucy Crawford in April 2000, as well as issues arising from the treatment of 15-year-old Conor Mitchell in May 2003.

The report, due to be published in 2014, has been delayed a number of times. Last year Alan Roberts, father of Claire, said: "The wait for publication of this report continues to cause us immense distress and mental torment."

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