Belfast Telegraph

Hyponatraemia Inquiry: Report on children's deaths in Belfast hospital to be published this 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, issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that 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 four-year-old Adam Strain, who died in November 1995; Claire Roberts, who died aged nine in October 1996, and nine-year-old Raychel Ferguson, who died in June 2001.

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

All five children were being treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, although some had been transferred from hospitals in other parts of the region, when they died.

The report, which was due to be published in 2014, has been delayed a number of times.

Last autumn, Mr O'Hara announced another delay, saying hoped it would be published "as early as possible in 2017".

At that time, Alan Roberts, father of Claire: "The wait for publication of this report continues to cause us immense distress and mental torment."

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