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Bradshaw welcomes neurology report publication but adds timing is regrettable

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the publication of a report into the recall of neurology patients but said the timing is “regrettable”.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the release of the report into the work of neurologist Dr Michael Watt at the Royal Victoria Hospital. It found 69 per cent of patients had a diagnosis which was considered to be secure.

“I welcome the publication of this report and I’m sure the patients of Dr Watts and their families will also be relieved the information is finally in the public domain. I think it is regrettable, however, it has been released in the last few days before Christmas - both from a practical point of view and also in relation to the potential emotional impact its publication will have in what should be a celebratory season.

“We can see from the report less than 70 per cent of Dr Watts’ patients who made their way through the recall had a secure diagnosis. While it is appreciated many neurological conditions are difficult to diagnose, no-one can be left in any doubt change is needed to governance and performance management to ensure systems are put in place, meaning patients can be assured their diagnoses, treatment and care are correct for their condition. 

“It is incumbent on the Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Trusts to continue to engage in the various inquiries and investigations established from this recall process, to ensure patient confidence is restored and those working in neurology are supported and appropriately supervised.”