Northern Ireland

Dr Michael Watt: Neurologist temporarily suspended from practice

Image of the human brain

A doctor at the centre of Northern Ireland's neurology patient recall has been temporarily suspended from practice.

Dr Michael Watt is a specialist at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and also works in a private capacity.

Last year, about 3,500 patients were recalled as investigations were carried out.

This was amid concerns over possible misdiagnosis.

A spokesperson for the Belfast Trust said Dr Watt remains restricted from clinical duties.

A hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has concluded that an immediate interim suspension be placed on Dr Watt, replacing the previous conditions he had been ordered to work under.

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Last year, BBC News NI revealed the extent of the recall, which forced the Belfast Trust to apologise to patients.

In May 2018, the Department of Health announced that an independent inquiry had been set up to review the recall of the patients by the Belfast Trust. It is ongoing.

The inquiry panel is being chaired by barrister Brett Lockhart QC.

It will examine the actions taken by the trust after concerns were raised and whether or not there were grounds for "earlier intervention".

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