Former patients of Dr Michael Watt call for resignations following Neurology report publication

There have been calls for resignations by former patients of Dr Michael Watt in the aftermath of the publication of the Independent Neurology Inquiry.

The report published on Tuesday was damning of health authorities after it was found that concerns were raised around a decade before serious measures were taken.

Danielle O'Neill, a former patient of Dr Watt, said: "Michael Watt failed us, the Belfast Trust failed us, the Department of Health failed us, the GMC failed every single patient caught up in this scandal.

"They should all do the honourable thing, hang their heads in shame and resign."

The Independent Neurology Inquiry found that opportunities to intervene over concerns about a Belfast doctor’s practice were missed from as early as 2006

Former patients of Dr Watt emerged from Law Society House following the publication of the independent neurology inquiry report to applause.

Jean Garland said they are grateful to have got to this day, describing a lot of hard work to have done so.

"We're not really surprised that there were complaints way before 2016 and that the Belfast Trust has failed us by not acting on those complaints," she said.

"If they had acted when those complaints happened, we wouldn't be standing here today ... a lot of people here today know that they would never have had the traumatic experiences that they did have if the Belfast Trust had done its job."

Therese Ward, another former patient of Dr Michael Watt, said the report is not the end of the road.

"This is the beginning, we have been harmed by inaction and we now know that the Belfast Trust had the information that would have prevented the harm to all of us, it had the information and sat on it," she said.

"We want accountability, not just corporate accountability, we want personal accountability where people who have allowed harm to us are personally held accountable."

Jean Garland added: "This is just a report, now we need action and we need people in power and our politicians have a big role to play here to push to get this to happen."

Danielle O'Neill said she felt health minister Robin Swann should have been present for the publication of the Independent Neurology Inquiry report.

"He should be standing here alongside us, where is Robin Swann today," she said.

Ms Ward added: "And where is Michael Watt."

The Belfast Health Trust and Health Minister Robin Swann are to give statements later.

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