Medical Negligence
By Conal McGarrity
Latest News

Patients Recalled by Belfast Trust over Fears of Misdiagnosis

3,200 patients have been recalled by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust over fears of misdiagnosis. The largest ever health recall in Northern Ireland has begun after a GP raised concerns about the diagnosis and treatment of a patient under Doctor Michael Watt, a neurology consultant at the Belfast trust.

Doctor Watt conducted NHS work in the Royal Victoria Hospital and City Hospital Belfast, as well as private work in the Ulster Independent Clinic and Hillsborough Private Clinic. He treated primarily brain conditions including MS, Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease and Stroke.

Concerns were raised about potential misdiagnosis in May 2016, while Doctor Watt continued to work and treat patients until June 2017 and patient recalls were only initiated in May 2018. This has raised serious questions about whether the Belfast Trust could have intervened earlier and mitigated the potential risk of misdiagnosis and mistreatment that Doctor Watt’s patients were exposed to. The Department of Health have commissioned an inquiry to investigate this matter.
Meanwhile, hundreds of former patients of Doctor Watt face a painstaking wait to find out if they have been misdiagnosed.

A compensation scheme has put in place to award damages to former patients who have been misdiagnosed or mistreated. At PA Duffy and Company our expert medical negligence solicitors can assist you through the claims process and help get damages for the pain and suffering that this may have caused.

The patients recalled have been treated by Doctor Watt for serious neurological problems, therefore their physical pain and suffering may have been significant as a result of misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Our solicitors offer compassionate and professional legal advice and will help you navigate the claims process in a manner as quick and pain free as possible.

Permanent secretary for the Belfast Trust Health and Social Services Richard Pengelly has ‘apologised unreservedly’ to the recalled patients. The alleged failings of the Belfast Trust in not acting on complaints about Doctor Watt sooner will be examined in the ongoing inquiry and will undoubtedly prolong the suffering of former patients.

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