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Questions mount over pension for recall doctor

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Dr Michael Watt

Dr Michael Watt

Dr Michael Watt

The Health Minister is coming under pressure to reveal whether a consultant at the centre of Northern Ireland’s largest patient recall is to receive an NHS pension.

Former patients of ex-consultant neurologist Michael Watt have been left devastated after it emerged he will not face fitness to practise proceedings.

It comes after he made a successful bid to be removed from the medical register, a move which means he can no longer work as a doctor in the UK.

And in July, it emerged he will not appear at the Independent Neurology Inquiry, which was announced after serious concerns were raised about the care he delivered to patients, after it considered specialist reports on his “unfitness to give evidence”.

No details have been made public on the content of the reports, while the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal Service, which granted his application for voluntary erasure from the medical register, considered the matter in private.

Caral Ni Chuilin said former patients of the former medic have been left devastated by the development.

The Sinn Fein MLA, who is a member of the Stormont health committee, said: “ Robin Swann really needs to make a statement on this.

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"In the middle of all of this are people who are really, really badly damaged and they deserve answers, their trust in the health and social care system is at an all-time low.

"Their stories are harrowing, they’re going through a nightmare.

"We need full public transparency on this because we have someone who worked for the health service and in private practice and we need to know whether he is now going to walk off with a platinum pension.

"We also need to know how this has all been allowed to happen and it strikes me that Mr Swann completely understands what the families are going through, so he needs to make a public statement as soon as possible to try and restore some confidence.”

The Department of Health has been contacted for comment.


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