Scally Review Expected To Recommend CervicalCheck Overhaul

Henrietta Strickland
September 14, 2018

VICKY Phelan, the Limerick woman who lifted the lid on the Cervical Check cancer screening scandal, and other women affected by the issue were not given a preview of important new report despite assurances from Health Minister Simon Harris.

Long and short-term measures have been recommended in the report but Dr Scally has said that a commission of investigation into the CervicalCheck crisis does not need to be established.

However, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, who had promised such a commission of investigation when the scandal broke earlier this year, said he may still move ahead with one.

Also speaking on Morning Ireland, one of those affected, Lorraine Walsh, said that to see details all over the papers this morning was "heartbreaking".

A review into the CervicalCheck audit was leaked to the media before its official publication date on Wednesday.

Ms Walsh is one of two patients' representatives appointed by the health minister to a committee tasked with overseeing changes to the cervical cancer screening programme.

She questioned how this information could be leaked when it's "only with the Government".

The 170-page report, with 50 recommendations, is set to stir strong emotions in the 221 victims of the scandal, as well as the grieving relatives of those who died. She also described it as "disappointing" that the media has been the "main information source" for the affected women throughout this whole experience.

The controversy came to light after Vicky Phelan, of Carrigeen, Annacotty, County Limerick, along with her husband Jim Phelan, sued the HSE and Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas, over a smear test taken under the National Cervical Screening Programme CervicalCheck and analysed in the United States laboratory.

The 43-year-old patient had a test seven years ago - which showed no abnormalities - but those results were later found to be incorrect.

She was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer following an incorrect smear test result and is now in hospital receiving further treatment.

According to the Irish Times, it's expected to highlight "serious system flaws" in the screening programme.

Ms Phelan later settled her case for €2.5m (£2.2m).

Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene died after wrong test results, said he was "heartbroken" by the disrespect.

As part of her settlement, the HSE admitted liability for failing to disclose the findings of the audit.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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