Belfast Telegraph

Over 85% of patients in neurology recall seen

By Mark Edwards

Just over 85% of the neurology patients being reviewed as part of the largest health recall have now been seen.

The Department of Health confirmed yesterday that as of July 18, 2,144 of the 2,500 patients formerly treated by Dr Michael Watt have been reassessed.

Information on the outcomes of the re-examinations is only expected to be released once it has been reviewed by health officials and they have drawn their own conclusions - something which is not expected in the immediate future.

Patients discharged are now in the care of their GPs, and have the ability to be re-referred to secondary care if their conditions change.

Updated figures on the patients were released after officials from the Department of Health met with political representatives.

The Department's permanent secretary Richard Pengelly said: "I want to place on record the Department's sincere thanks for the huge effort and commitment made by the entire neurology team, those in the independent sector, the administrative staff, whose support has been phenomenal, including the Northern Ireland Neurological Charities Alliance.

"Everyone has worked tirelessly throughout this process, their willingness and absolute dedication has been unsurpassed in supporting patients through a complex patient recall and one that undoubtedly been distressing for many."

Sinn Fein's health spokesperson Pat Sheehan said the meeting had been "useful" and had involved an account of "the complexity and challenges in the neurology recall process".

"The work of neurology services and all staff involved in the recall must be commended," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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