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Next steps and future approach to the Neurology Deceased Patients Review

Today, Health Minister, Mike Nesbitt updated the NI Assembly on the next steps in the Neurology Deceased Patients Review; 

"I wish to inform Members of the next steps and future approach to the Neurology Deceased Patients Review (DPR), including the rationale in respect of the approach to the DPR work moving forward and to outline the arrangements to support this work.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the exceptionally difficult circumstances which the families of deceased patients have experienced. I wish to apologise for the hurt caused to the neurology recall patients and the families affected by these matters, and I would like to reiterate my thanks and appreciation to them for their cooperation and patience.

It is important to explain the context of the DPR and the work undertaken to date, which has been challenging and extensive."

Read the full statement here: doh-wms-DPR-Phase-Three-and-Future-Approach-July-2024.pdf (


RQIA welcomed this and published a statement on their website; RQIA-Statement_Phase-3-DPR-3-Jul-24.pdf

"RQIA welcomes Minister Nesbitt’s announcement today on the next steps and future approach to the Neurology Deceased Patients Review (DPR).

RQIA will begin the planning, preparation and initiation of Phase 3 of this review process. This Phase will involve the further 18 families who have approached RQIA to confirm that they wish to proceed with an expert review of their relative’s clinical records. RQIA has contacted these families to advise that the expert review process will now commence. They will be invited to provide their testimony to the Expert
Review team.

It is anticipated that the findings of Phase 3 will be available in Spring 2025. Throughout this time, RQIA will continue to provide regular updates to these families as the review progresses. RQIA is mindful that this is a difficult time for them, and will ensure appropriate support arrangements are in place via RQIA’s Family Liaison Team.

In addition, the Department of Health has asked any further families of deceased patients of Dr Watt who wish to explore involvement with the DPR to contact the RQIA, no later than 31 December 2024.
Families can contact RQIA’s Family Liaison Team at:
Freephone: 0800 052 0012 (10am - 5pm, Monday – Friday)

Following this process, the Department of Health and the RQIA will clarify next steps
for this stage of the DPR."

Tags: HSC NEWS By PCC at 07/03/2024