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'Shutters have come down' on neurology crisis, Sinn Féin claims

Sinn Féin health spokesman Pat Sheehan has criticised the health service response to the neurology recall crisis. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
Seanín Graham

THERE has been a "lack of clarity" from the health service on the neurology recall crisis, according to Sinn Féin.

Despite attending several briefings by the Belfast trust and Department of Health officials since the scandal broke last month, Pat Sheehan said key questions remain unanswered regarding the management and appraisal of Dr Michael Watt.

"The shutters appear to have come down over the past few weeks in terms of getting information, it is becoming frustrating," he said.

"We have engaged closely with all health authorities since the concerns about Dr Watt first emerged, the most recent meeting being last Thursday.

"However, the department has yet to produce its terms of reference for the reviews."

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On May 10, the department announced it was setting up an independent review into the "process initiated by the trust in December 2016" - the period when the Belfast trust said it first became aware of concerns.

"In addition, the panel will assess whether any complaints or concerns relating to Dr Watt prior to December 2016 should have provided grounds for earlier intervention," the department said.

The department of health has ordered an independent inquiry into the neurology recall scandal

Mr Sheehan said he was aware of 14 patient complaints made prior to this date.

"Patients deserve answers. To restore public confidence, this review panel requires transparency, accountability and should be carried out in a timely manner."

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