Neurology Patient Recall Update

Date published: 26 July 2018

The Department of Health and consultant neurologist Dr John Craig today updated elected representatives on the neurology patient recall by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

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The Department also gave the position on the numbers of patients reviewed (recall appointment figures), collated by the Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency. Latest information at close of play on Wednesday 18th July indicates that 2,144 patients out of the 2,500 patients in this phase of the recall have been seen to date.

Both the Department and representatives from the political parties began by paying tribute to the neurology team undertaking the recall exercise. Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly said: “I want to place on record the Department’s sincere thanks for the huge effort and commitment made by the entire neurology team, those in the Independent Sector, the administrative staff, whose support has been phenomenal, including the Northern Ireland Neurological Charities Alliance.

“Everyone has worked tirelessly throughout this process, their willingness and absolute dedication has been unsurpassed in supporting patients through a complex patient recall and one that undoubtedly been distressing for many.”

Acknowledging that this has been a difficult undertaking, particularly for patients, Dr Craig provided an insight around the clinical complexities of the recall exercise and explaining the desire and objective of meeting the needs of every individual patient and discussing with each of them any change in their diagnosis or treatment.

As the first phase of the patient recall exercise is due to come to an end the Department will now take time to consider arrangements for the review of Dr Watt’s discharged patients including the numbers involved. It is important to note that these discharged patients have been discharged into the care of their GPs and therefore have recourse to the usual assessment and re-referral to secondary care if there are any changes in their condition.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department will provide information about the overall outcomes of the recall screening appointments when sufficient number of patients cases’ have been analysed to allow for neurological and robust conclusions to be made – the analysis of this data is being actively considered and will take some time to complete.
  2.  For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office team on 028 90 520575 or email For out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt.

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