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Litany of failings allowed consultant to misdiagnose for a decade, inquiry finds

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1545 (Published 23 June 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1545
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A series of failings by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust allowed a consultant neurologist, Michael Watt, to go on misdiagnosing and wrongly treating patients’ illnesses for a decade, a public inquiry has concluded.1

Watt was at the centre of the largest patient recall in Northern Ireland in 2018, when more than 5000 patients were recalled. A review of his high risk patients found that nearly one in five received a diagnosis described as “not secure.”

The Independent Neurology Inquiry, chaired by Brett Lockhart QC, found that information was locked in “silos” and was never synthesised to the point where a decision maker could view the entire picture. The inquiry’s highly critical report said that one of the …

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