Belfast patient recall: Private clinic to open helpline

A nurse taking notes

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The trust says it is a “serious” situation and has apologised

A private clinic is to open a helpline following the recall of 2,500 neurology patients in Northern Ireland for a case review.

The recall comes amid concerns that some patients may have been misdiagnosed.

It follows a review of the work of neurology consultant Dr Michael Watt at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

He operated a private practice at the Ulster Independent Clinic until 2017.

The clinic said its helpline is open from 09:00 BST – the number is 028 9068 6511.

An advice line is also operating for those who have been affected in the Belfast Health Trust – it is 0800 980 1100.

Neurology is the treatment of brain conditions including MS, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke and Motor Neurone Disease.

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The clinic said it was moving as quickly as possible to address patient concerns

Patients being recalled should have received a letter by post on Tuesday. It will include details about how to make an appointment.

Lynn Millar, a Trust patient, has Multiple sclerosis (MS). She told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme she was “in shock” when she received her letter.

“The first thing you think is: have I been misdiagnosed? For MS sufferers, worry and stress are big triggers. It took me two years to get a diagnosis.

“I’m lucky my appointment is in two weeks but I know people whose appointments aren’t until the end of June, which is a long time to worry.

“I have had three relapses in a year – that would be a sign that the medication I’m on isn’t working.

“I’m hoping when I go to my appointment, they’ll say ‘Your diagnosis is correct'”.

The Ulster Independent Clinic said that Dr Watt operated a private practice at the clinic but he voluntarily suspended it in June 2017.

“Late last evening we were made aware of the completion of the review, commissioned by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians into Dr Watt’s clinical practice.

“When this is made available to us we will immediately consider the report to fully understand the type and extent of the concerns raised.”

It added: “We would like to reassure all Dr Watt’s patients, potentially impacted by this issue, that we are moving as quickly as possible to address any concerns they may have.”

Are you one of the patients being recalled for a case review? Email .

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