Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have recalled more than 2,500 neurology patients, including children, amid concerns they may have been mis-diagnosed by Dr Michael Watt.  The Ulster Independent Clinic has also confirmed Dr Watt operated a private practice there until June 2017.

Neurology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.  A neurologist is a doctor who treats disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves, for example:

  • Strokes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Headache disorders
  • Infections of the brain and peripheral nervous system
  • Movement disorders like Parkinson’s Disease
  • Neurodegenerative disorders, for example, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Spinal cord disorders
  • Speech and language disorders

The recall of patient’s follows concerns which were raised a GP regarding a patient’s diagnosis and treatment in December 2016.  This prompted a case review by both the Trust and Royal College of Physicians.  There is particular concern over a small number of Dr Watts’ patients, but the decision was made to recall everyone who is currently is his care.  Whilst many of the conditions can be treated some are potentially serious, and Nicola Mallon, North Belfast MLA said of Dr Watts’ patients: “They are fearful now they have been misdiagnosed for years and given the wrong drugs”.

It is rare that one clinician is at the centre of so many cases, and reassuring that the problems were detected and action was taken.  However, at Ison Harrison Solicitors, our experienced clinical negligence team sees cases everyday where there has been a misdiagnosis of potentially serious conditions.  Often, there will have been no harm caused as a result of the misdiagnosis, but sometimes a misdiagnosis can have a significant impact on both the patient and their family.

If you believe you have been affected by a misdiagnosis please call us on 0113 284 5000 or email A member of our team will listen to your story and deal with your enquiry in a sensitive matter.

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