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Neurology inquiry questionnaires follow patient recall

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The engagement process which opens on Monday will last eight weeks

The independent inquiry panel which is reviewing neurology services by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has announced details of its public engagement process.

Questionnaires are being made available for the trust’s neurology patients.

The engagement process which opens on Monday will last eight weeks.

More than 2,500 patients have been assessed following a review of patient notes relating to the work of neurology consultant Dr Michael Watt.

Concern was first raised about Dr Watt’s treatment and diagnosis of some patients at the end of 2016.

He is not currently treating patients.

The trust has described the situation as serious and offered an apology to patients – who include children – and their families.

‘Meaningful process’

The independent inquiry comprises chairman Brett Lockhart QC and Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor.

The questionnaires are being made available which can be downloaded from the inquiry website, accessed through the Neurological Charities’ Alliance, or from MLAs’ offices.

“Whilst this is not a statutory inquiry, we have been determined to interpret our remit in a manner which takes into account the voices of patients and others who have had experience of neurology services within the greater Belfast area over the past 10 years,” said Mr Lockhart.

“At the very outset of our appointment I made it clear that we would examine the most appropriate mechanism for engaging with the important voice of patients and core users of the Neurology services.”

“We want this to be a meaningful process,” he added.

The Terms of Reference of the independent review will look at a variety of areas including:

  • The circumstances that led to the recall of patients in May 2018
  • The Belfast Trust’s handling of relevant complaints or concerns, identified before November 2016
  • Identifying any learning points and making recommendations to the health department

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