Wednesday, September 07, 2022

By Jonathan McCambridge, PA

A further 19 patients of a Belfast-based neurologist are being recalled to have their medication reviewed.

Dr Michael Watt was at the centre of Northern Ireland’s largest ever recall of patients, which began in 2018, after concerns were raised about his clinical work.

More than 4,000 of his former patients attended recall appointments.

The Independent Neurology Inquiry report, published in June, found systems and processes around patient safety failed, and opportunities to intervene in the practice of Dr Watt were not taken by the Belfast Health Trust as early as 2006.


The trust said it has identified a further 19 patients who have been invited to an appointment with a consultant.

Trust deputy chief executive Bernie Owens said: “We are very sorry these people have not been contacted before now, and I would stress that they are being contacted on a precautionary basis.

“Each of the 19 individuals have been invited to an appointment where their medication will be reviewed, and if needs be, corrected.”

David Galloway, director of the MS Society NI, said it was disappointing that the move has occurred three months after being given an assurance that the patient recall was completed.

He said: “I have been assured that the trust has completed an exercise to be certain that this error does not affect any other patient.

“However, patients are telling us that their confidence in the health system is at an all-time low.

“Recall patients still need both support and answers and are calling out for accountability.

“They want to know who will take responsibility and what consequences will they face.”

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