Northern Ireland

Dr Michael Watt: More than 150 people contact police in probe into ex-neurologist

Police have made a new appeal for ex-patients of the doctor who was at the centre of Northern Ireland’s largest recall of patients to come forward.

Dr Michael Watt previously worked as a consultant neurologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast
Dr Michael Watt previously worked as a consultant neurologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast Dr Michael Watt previously worked as a consultant neurologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast

More than 150 people have contacted detectives carrying out an investigation into the clinical practices of former consultant neurologist Dr Michael Watt.

Providing an update on Operation Begrain, police have made a new appeal for former patients of the doctor who was at the centre of Northern Ireland’s largest recall of patients to come forward.



In 2018, more than 4,000 of Dr Watt’s patients attended recall appointments amid concerns over his clinical practice.

Last year, he was struck off the medical register after a tribunal found his fitness to practise was currently impaired and that his professional performance was unacceptable.

Police then launched the probe into his work.

Detective Inspector Gina Quinn said: “Michael Watt worked for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and also held private clinics at Hillsborough Private Clinic and the Ulster Independent Clinic.

“Last November, we launched an investigation into the former consultant neurologist’s clinical practices.

“We highlighted how former patients, or their next of kin or representatives, could report any concerns regarding their medical treatment to police.

“Since that time, 154 people have contacted our Operation Begrain investigation team.”

She added: “We continue to encourage anyone with concerns to use the online reporting form where possible.

“It will guide you through the questions, and is available 24 hours a day. It’s the quickest and easiest way to make a report.

“However, anyone unable to use the online reporting facility can make a phone call.

“The new number to call is 028 3025 9200, and a voicemail facility is in place. Simply leave your contact details and a member of the team will get back to you.

“We recognise wholeheartedly this may be a distressing time for many. Importantly, our webpage includes details of various available support networks.”

The dedicated online reporting platform can be accessed at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/PSNI22R20-PO1.