The Ulster Independent Clinic had an update with representatives from the Department of Health late yesterday. We confirmed our position that we are working as hard as possible to identify those patients of Dr M Watt under active review, exclusively in his private practice at the Clinic. This is necessary to accurately identify any private patients who may need to be contacted for review.
Following our recent discussions, with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT), we discussed with the Department the complex and time-consuming nature of this process, including the clear need to cross-reference this list with the active patient list being reviewed by the Trust, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication or additional concern to patients. Early investigations have suggested that there is likely to be a significant number of patients who have moved between the private sector and the NHS and therefore may already appear on the Trust’s list. We are seeking to expedite this process as quickly as possible with the assistance of the Trust so we can then begin to communicate directly with those patients of Dr Watt who may be impacted by this issue.
Having only received the recommendations and conclusions from the Royal College of Physicians report in the middle of last week, we can assure patients that we are moving as quickly as possible. Once we have an active review list for Dr Watt’s patients we will begin the process of communicating directly with them. From this point, we assured the Department that we will endeavour to facilitate reviews for Dr Watt’s active patients within a 12-week period, similar to the target timescale established by Belfast Trust. We welcome the support offered by the Department to help achieve this target.