Belfast Telegraph

Recall patient wrongly told she had MS thought of taking her own life

Dr Michael Watt
Dr Michael Watt

By Staff Reporter

A woman misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis by consultant neurologist Dr Michael Watt, considered taking her life after becoming one of the thousands of people caught up in the largest patient recall in Northern Ireland's medical history.

Having adjusted to Dr Watt's faulty diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Jenny Robinson is now in confusion, as things she thought were certainties evaporated with news she does not have MS.

"It's good news but it's not good news," she told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra.

"It's good news that I don't have to look to that part of my future as being what I thought it was going to be.

"But it's also bad news because I'm now in free-fall again. Every safety net has been pulled away.

"Last Christmas, after having seen a new consultant who'd given me three different diagnoses, I was contemplating suicide.

"And I very, very nearly did carry through with it."

David Galloway, of the MS Society, said Dr Watt's patients needed answers.

He said: "They don't have an understanding of what was happening in the system within the hospital that provided the conditions in which they had to be recalled."

He said patients were looking to the Lockhart Inquiry and other investigations into Dr Watt to provide those answers.

"I think there is an urgency now about starting to bring some of that material into the public domain - so that patients start to get answers," he told the programme.

A Belfast Trust spokesman said: "In May 2017 we took the decision to recall Dr Watt's patients to ensure all had received the correct diagnosis and were on the appropriate treatment plan. Any patient who received a change of diagnosis has been informed of this in real time and we apologise for the stress and anxiety this recall has caused to our patients."

The Department of Health said it continues to focus on focus on the neurology recall issues, saying "the recall remains a matter of very high priority".

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