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Hearing into fitness to practice of neurologist Dr Michael Watt scheduled for September and October | UTV

A hearing into the fitness to practice of consultant neurologist Dr Michael Watt has been scheduled for later in 2023.

The case has been referred to the Medical Practicioners Tribunal Service after the High Court quashed an earlier decision for Dr Watt to be voluntaryily erased from the medical register.

The hearing is scheduled to take place in two periods, firstly from Monday 4 to Friday 8 September, and again from Tuesday 17 October to Monday 6 November.

The Tribunal will consider an allegation that Dr Michael Watt’s “professional performance was unacceptable in the areas of Maintaining Professional Performance, Assessment, Clinical Management, Record Keeping and Relationship with Patients.”

Dr Watt had in 2021 been allowed to perform a voluntary erasure (VE) from the medical register, something that High Court Judge Michael McAlinden called a “fiasco”.

The original decision allowed Dr Watt to avoid a public hearing into his fitness to practice.

Quashing this, Judge McAlinden said in April that both the Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPT) and the General Medical Council (GMC) lost sight of their primary objective to protect and maintain public health and safety.

He further added that “The entire process of fixing a hearing to determine VE before any (further) VE application was made was a device, or an exercise in corner-cutting that the MPT had no power to adopt.”Dr Watt was at the centre of one of the UK’s largest ever patient recalls after concerns were raised about the quality of his care and work.

The recall, which began in 2018, found that up to 1 in 5 of Dr Watt’s patients had been wrongly diagnosed.

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