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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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Neurologist to face new fitness to practise hearing

Dr Michael Watt. Concerns over the clinical work of the former Belfast Health and Social Care Trust consultant neurologist were first raised in 2018. More than 4,000 of his former patients attended recall appointments

Dr Michael Watt. Concerns over the clinical work of the former Belfast Health and Social Care Trust consultant neurologist were first raised in 2018. More than 4,000 of his former patients attended recall appointments

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has announced that a hearing into Dr Michael Watt will begin in September.

Concerns over the clinical work of the former Belfast Health and Social Care Trust consultant neurologist were first raised in 2018.

More than 4,000 of his former patients attended recall appointments.

A previous MPTS tribunal granted Dr Watt voluntary removal from the medical register.

The private ruling was made ahead of an expected public hearing and caused anger among politicians and some of his former patients.

However, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) referred the matter to the High Court in Northern Ireland due to concern that the ruling was “not sufficient to protect the public”.

The High Court sent the case back to the MPTS after quashing its previous ruling.

The new hearing will consider whether Dr Watt’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of “deficient professional performance”, following a General Medical Council (GMC) assessment in which his performance was deemed unacceptable in five areas.

An entry on the MPTS website stated: “The tribunal will inquire into the allegation that, between 7 and 22 October 2018, Dr Watt underwent a General Medical Council assessment of the standard of his professional performance.

“It is alleged that his professional performance was unacceptable in the areas of maintaining professional performance, assessment, clinical management, record-keeping and relationship with patients.”

A separate probe, the Independent Neurology Inquiry, concluded last year that problems with Dr Watt’s practice were missed for years and opportunities to intervene were lost.

It said systems and processes in place around patient safety failed and made more

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Belfast neurologist to face new fitness to practise hearing

A neurologist at the centre of the North’s largest ever recall of patients is to face a new public hearing over his fitness to practise.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has announced that a hearing into Dr Michael Watt will begin in September.

Concerns over the clinical work of the former Belfast Health and Social Care Trust consultant neurologist were first raised in 2018.

More than 4,000 of his former patients attended recall appointments.

A previous MPTS tribunal granted Dr Watt voluntary removal from the medical register.

The private ruling was made ahead of an expected public hearing and caused anger among politicians and some of his former patients.

However, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) referred the matter to the High Court in Belfast due to concern that the ruling was “not sufficient to protect the public”.

The court in Belfast sent the case back to the MPTS after quashing its previous ruling.

The new hearing will consider whether Dr Watt’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of “deficient professional performance”, following a General Medical Council (GMC) assessment in which his performance was deemed unacceptable in five areas.

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SDLP health spokesman Colin McGrath welcomed the new hearing into Dr Michael Watt (Liam McBurney/PA)

An entry on the MPTS website stated: “The tribunal will inquire into the allegation that, between 7 and 22 October 2018, Dr Watt underwent a General Medical Council assessment of the standard of his professional performance.

“It is alleged that his professional performance was unacceptable in the areas of maintaining professional performance, assessment, clinical management, record-keeping and relationship with patients.”

A separate probe, the Independent Neurology Inquiry, concluded last year that problems with Dr Watt’s practice were missed for years and opportunities to intervene were lost.

It said systems and processes in place around patient

Read the rest