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Sheehan seeks urgent meeting over patient recall

CONCERNS: Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health, Pat Sheehan CONCERNS: Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health, Pat Sheehan
By Conor McParland

SINN Féin spokesperson for Health Pat Sheehan MLA has requested an urgent meeting with the head of the Belfast Trust about the recall of patients who’ve undergone neurological evaluation.

On Tuesday, more than 2,500 neurology patients received a letter amid concerns about the care provided by Consultant Neurologist Dr Michael Watt at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
Pat Sheehan said: “The health and wellbeing of affected patients must be the priority of the Trust’s response.

“It is vital the 2,500 patients concerned receive their review as a matter of urgency and are provided with any care or support they require.

“This will be a stressful and worrying time for the patients concerned and it’s important they are kept fully informed.

“The Belfast Trust must ensure their response is prompt and sensitive to the needs of patients.
“I have requested a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Belfast Trust to ensure that the wellbeing of patients is prioritised.”

A spokesperson for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said: “Concerns were raised by doctors at the end of 2016 (December) and immediately patient safety measures were put in place which included restrictions on aspects of Dr Watt’s practice. He has not been seeing patients since June 2017.

“The final Report from Royal College of Physicians was sent to the Trust on Thursday 26 April and we have recalled patients today to assure them, their families and ourselves that they are receiving the best possible care.

“We understand that Dr Watt had a private practice and that he has not been seeing private patients since June 2017. Belfast Trust has kept the private providers informed of this situation. Whilst a private patient can ring our advice line with any concerns they may have, we would encourage them to contact their private healthcare provider.”

If you feel you’ve been affected, you’re asked to call the Freephone number 0800 980 1100.

The Ulster Independent Clinic, where Dr Watt operated a private practice until June 2017, has also opened a helpline for concerned patients: 028 9068 6511.

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