Update on recall of neurology patients

Date published: 30 October 2018

Following the review of 2,500 neurology patients earlier this year, a decision has been taken to recall a further 1,044 people. This further group are patients who had been seen by Consultant Neurologist Dr Michael Watt and discharged to the care of their GP.

neurology patient recall

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride commented: “We provided a commitment at the outset that we would carefully consider anyone who had previously been seen by Dr Watt and discharged, and then recall any key groups of people who, based on the advice of the consultant neurological team, required a review. 

“Based on our learning from the initial recall of patients, individuals have now been identified by the specialised medicines they are being prescribed.

“We want to apologise for any distress and uncertainty that this process brings. It is clearly our responsibility to act on clinical advice and the emerging outcomes from the first phase of the recall.”

People in this further group had been prescribed certain medications for neurological conditions and are being offered review appointments to ensure they are on the correct treatment.

These new appointments are being arranged on the clinical advice from the team of consultant neurologists at Belfast Trust.

The review appointments will start this weekend and are scheduled to be completed within a four month period.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Consultant Neurologist Dr John Craig said: “We wish to reassure everyone who has received a letter that our primary focus is to provide assurance that they are on the correct treatment; and request that they should not stop, or make adjustments to, their medication until they have been reviewed by a consultant neurologist at their appointment.

“It is crucial that anyone who does not receive a letter understands that they have no action to take and do not need to get in touch. This latest review process is being concentrated on specific groups of patients taking specific, specialised medicines.”

A dedicated advice line - 0800 980 1100 - is in place for any concerns anyone may have in advance of an appointment. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The total number of 1,044 people includes around 700 patients who were treated within the health service and around 344 who had been private patients at either the Ulster Independent Clinic or Hillsborough Private Clinic.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office team on 028 9052 0575 or email pressoffice@health-ni-gov.uk. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
  3. Further information can be found on the Belfast Trust homepage (will not be available 16.00hours):

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