Belfast Telegraph

Compensation scheme being drawn up following neurology patients recall

Around 3,200 public and private former patients of Belfast-based neurologist Dr Michael Watt have been initially earmarked for review.

A compensation scheme is being drawn up for those identified by the most complex ever patient recall in Northern Ireland, a senior civil servant said.

Around 3,200 public and private former patients of Belfast-based neurologist Dr Michael Watt have been initially earmarked for review and others may be brought into the major probe.

A series of investigations including an independent inquiry led by a barrister have been established following concerns about work by the consultant.

We are learning the lessons of mistakes made in the past Richard Pengelly

Stormont Health Department permanent secretary Richard Pengelly said: “This can have profound implications for patients so at this stage I am commissioning some work within the department just to look at redress.”

He said a range of options were under consideration for the compensation scheme.

A minister would need to sign off proposals and Stormont powersharing has been suspended for more than a year.

Mr Pengelly added: “We are learning the lessons of mistakes made in the past.

“Our response will not be, if someone comes forward and says I have had a profound life-changing event as a consequence of an error on your part, our response will not be to refer them to our solicitors and say see you in court.”

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