The Health Minister, Mr Robin Swann MLA, has today announced that an additional 19 of Dr Michael Watt’s former patients have been recalled. This is due to concerns that they should have had their medication reviewed in April 2021 having previously been under Dr Watt’s care between June 1996 and March 2012 before being discharged to the care of their GP. It is also understood that these patients had not been subsequently reviewed by another Consultant Neurologist but had then been prescribed one or more specific medications between February and July 2020.
This is a particularly concerning development in light of the previous assurances provided by Mr Swann in June 2022 that no further Patient Recall would be required. In a statement also issued by The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust today, it is noted that these patients were not identified previously due to an error on the Trust’s Patient Administration System and that “their medication will be reviewed, and if needs be, corrected.”
Given the findings of the Independent Neurology Inquiry published in June 2022, this news will inevitably further erode public trust and confidence in the Health Service in Northern Ireland. It also again highlights the apparent systemic failings within The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Whilst the Trust have advised that this Recall is being carried out on a precautionary basis, it will, nonetheless, also undoubtedly cause significant additional worry and distress to those patients and families concerned. We await further updates as they become available in due course.
To view the full statement issued by The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, click here: