November 22, 2019
Patients entitled to expect openness and transparency – Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said the Department of Health and the Belfast Trust must prioritise openness and transparency in relation to the neurology scandal. 

The Sinn Féin health spokesperson said: 

“Health service patients and the public are entitled to expect accountability and transparency and clearly that has not happened in the case of the neurologist Michael Watt. 

“From the outset of this scandal I made it clear to the Belfast Trust and the Department of Health that patients and the public must be kept informed. 

“To date the Department has refused to publish its own ‘Outcomes’ report into the neurology recall scandal which has affected thousands of patients and their families in the first phase alone, despite having previously committed to publish it in June.

“This is unacceptable and adds to the hurt and distress of patients who have suffered grievously as a result of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatments.

“The Department’s position is untenable given that the information in the ‘outcomes’ report from the first neurology recall is now in the public domain as result of the Spotlight program.

“The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health should publish the full outcomes report immediately. The patients have a right to know.

“I have also spoken to the Belfast Trust and written to the Permanent Secretary of the department and advised them both that the PSNI should be involved.

“I have also raised this with the PSNI at a senior level. 

“Affected patients in particular, and the public generally, are entitled to know – as a minimum – what happened regarding the treatment provided by Neurologist Michael Watt.” 

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