When schoolgirl Claire Taylor fell ill with what at first appeared to be a viral infection, her mother was convinced she had diabetes.

There was a history of diabetes in the family and Claire, 17, showed signs of having the condition too when she became lethargic, began feeling physically sick and suffered a serious loss of appetite.

But when her mother Helen relayed her worries to their family GP Michelle Watts she claims she was ''laughed off'' by the doctor - even when she called for her seriously ill daughter be rushed into hospital.

A medical tribunal this week heard how during a home visit Dr Watts, 47, ignored Mrs Taylor's concerns, patted her arm and put her daughter's illness down to ''panic breathing.''

Despite the teenager showing evidence of having a lethal form of diabetes known as Diabetic Keto-Acidosis, Watts failed to examine Claire properly then left the house suggesting she take a course of sleeping tablets.

Later that night Claire's condition worsened and she died in bed in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland as her mother was sleeping in a chair beside her. It was subsequently discovered the teenager was in fact suffering from Type 1 diabetes.

At a disciplinary hearing which continues in Manchester Mrs Taylor, 55, wept as she gave harrowing details of her daughter's last hours as Watts faced misconduct charges.

She said: "Dr Watts took Claire's pulse, listened to her chest and I told her that my daughter wanted to go to hospital to get oxygen but she laughed.

''She didn't examine my daughter, she didn't pull back the covers to feel her tummy or neck. She just said that my daughter was panicking and she would need some diazepam to calm her down and rest. Dr Watts knew my concerns about diabetes but didn't mention it. I had been offered the community doctor - to this day I wonder who that would have been.''

Cavendish Press' coverage of the case at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service went in The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Daily Express Daily Star and other newspapers.

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