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Publication of Neurology Recall Cohort 3 activity report

9th June 2022

Neurology advice line number

Read the Health Minister’s statement here

Neurology Recall Cohort 3 Activity and Outcomes Report

Neurology Recall Cohort 1, 2 and 3 Summary Report

Neurology Recall Cohort 3 FAQs

Patient advice leaflet: Support for those impacted by the Neurology Recall

Belfast Trust welcomes the publication by the Department of Health of the Outcomes Report for the group of patients recalled in April 2021 and the composite report which explains the outcomes of the three neurology recalls. The three recalls span the practice of former Neurology Consultant Michael Watt from 1996 – 2017.

Once again, Belfast Trust sincerely apologises to all those patients recalled since May 2018. We accept that this has been a hugely stressful time and many patients were very anxious when we asked them to return and have another review. We recognise that for some people the outcome of these reviews may have resulted in deep distress and we are acutely aware of the impact of that news and for that we are very sorry.

The decision to recall so many people was not taken lightly. It was an essential requirement that we assured our patients and ourselves, that everyone was receiving the best possible care. The decision to recall patients was based initially on a recommendation of an independent Royal College of Physicians Report into the medical practice of former Consultant Neurologist, Michael Watt, and then subsequently on expert clinical advice coming from ongoing recalls.

The information contained within the Outcomes Report for those people recalled in April 2021 confirms that it was appropriate to review all the people we did. As part of the patient recall, it was important that people were advised in real time of their own particular outcome and this was achieved.

Belfast Trust is satisfied that all patients who needed to be reviewed have been and that there will be no further Neurology Recalls as a result of the clinical practice of former Consultant Neurologist, Michael Watt.

Belfast Trust continues to work with the Department of Health and the Public Health Agency to support all actions arising from the totality of the Recall. Additionally, the Trust is cooperating fully with the Public Inquiry, and has assisted the Regulation, Quality and Improvement Authority (RQIA) with its Review of Outpatients Services. Separately, the Department of Health has asked that Neurology Services in Northern Ireland be fully reviewed – how they are funded, staffed, and delivered in a way that best meets the changing needs of our population – and Belfast Trust is playing a full part in that.

Any patient impacted by the Recall or the publication of the Outcomes Reports can access Belfast Trust’s support via the Neurology Recall Patient Advice Line on: 0800 980 1100.

Information on Neurology patient recall: Phase 1

Information on Neurology patient recall: Phase 2