Unacceptable failings must lead to urgent reform, says Bradshaw

Health Paula Bradshaw

The scale of the failings revealed by the inquiry into work of a neurologist which led to a mass patient recall demonstrates the need for urgent reform and immediate implementation of recommendations, Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the report of the Independent Neurology Inquiry, which looked at the work of Michael Watt, was released. Among other findings, it stated there had been numerous failures, including Belfast Trust failing to intervene quickly enough, systems in place around patient safety failed and information was contained in silos, with communications between different organisations and management levels inadequate.

“I commend the inquiry team on not pulling any punches in their report, which demonstrates an unacceptable litany of failings and gets right to the heart of a culture of not calling out bad practice and intervening early in patients’ interests,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“The fact is, over a period of many years, patients’ interests were secondary. This has resulted in serious trauma for literally thousands of people. The scale of the suffering and the detrimental impact to lives cannot be understated.

“Therefore it is vital there be urgent reform and full implementation of the recommendations, headed by people not implicated in this scandal, to ensure patient safety will now be the number one priority and accountability systems actually function.”