Belfast Telegraph

Western Trust recalls 37 heart condition patients

By Michael Sheils McNamee

The Western Trust has recalled 37 patients who had been receiving treatment for a heart condition.

The recall has been made following a review of patients' files, and affects those suffering from aortic stenosis - the most common type of heart valve disease in the elderly.

The move was prompted by concerns related to two patients earlier this year.

Dr Dermot Hughes, medical director at the Western Health Trust, said: "Following a review of patients diagnosed with a heart valve condition known as Aortic Stenosis, the Trust has identified 37 patients from the Fermanagh area who should have received a follow up review after their treatment.

"These patients have been contacted by telephone or letter on June 6 and June 7 and have been offered a review appointment with cardiology staff at South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.

"It is unlikely that patients will need any change in their treatment, but these reviews are being carried out as a precautionary measure."

Sinn Fein MLA Colm Gildernew said: "These reviews need to be carried out as quickly as possible and the Trust need to communicate in a full and transparent manner with the patients and their families.

"The well-being of patients must be the primary focus in the days ahead and the circumstances surrounding the recall must be thoroughly investigated and communicated to the public."

It follows the recall last month by the Belfast Health Trust of over 2,500 neurology patients treated by neurologist Dr Michael Watt, making it Northern Ireland's largest ever patient recall.

Yesterday, SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon welcomed publication of the Terms of Reference for the Independent Inquiry into the recall. The panel comprises its chair Brett Lockhart QC and Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor.

She said confirmation was needed over whether Dr Watt's private sector work would be also included.

"The same point goes for the review into the handling of complaints and concerns prior to November 2016. Will the private sector be included?

She added: "There is also no detail as yet on how patients will have their voices heard and how their vital knowledge and experiences will be taken into account. There is mounting frustration and anger among patients that no one is talking to them or listening to them. The Inquiry must provide the space and confidence for them to be heard."

Mr Lockhart said: "I very much welcome the finalisation of the terms of reference and, in particular, the involvement of Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor, who has significant experience in clinical governance.

"I am conscious of the level of public interest and concern and a preliminary report will be produced as soon as practicable with the final report issued on the completion and review of all other relevant actions initiated by the Department."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph