Tomorrow Afternoon

at

Vicky Phelan, her husband Jim and her solicitor Cian O’Carroll (in background)

Tomorrow.

At 2.30pm.

In committee room 3 of Leinster House.

The Joint Committee on Health will review the CervicalCheck programme and hear from the Minister for Health Simon Harris, representatives from the HSE, officials from the Department of Health; and representatives from CervicalCheck and the National Cancer Control Programme.

Those interested will be able to watch it live from here or on the Oireachtas TV channel which is on Virgin Media 207 and Sky 574.

It follows confirmation that some 208 women in Ireland had a false negative smear test before being diagnosed with cervical cancer and  that 162 of these women – 17 of whom are now dead – were not told of their earlier incorrect test.

The figures emerged after terminally-ill Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan settled her action against a US laboratory, subcontracted by the CervicalCheck to assess the tests, without admission of liability for €2.5million last week.

Ms Phelan was only told last year that a 2011 smear test assessed by the US lab returned a false negative.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 – leading to the 2011 test being reviewed.

During her court action, Ms Phelan refused to sign a confidentiality agreement – giving rise to the information about the 208 women becoming public knowledge.

Previously: Cover Up And Confidentiality

23 thoughts on “Tomorrow Afternoon

  1. Cian

    Bodger:
    “Ms Phelan was only told last year that a 2011 smear test assessed by the US lab returned a false negative while she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014.”

    This is wishy-washy wording.

    The Cervical Check only reassessed her 2011 test *after* she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 (by Cervical Check).
    Cervical Check only knew that the US lab returned a false negative *after* they told her that she had cancer.

    Can you put together a time-line to clarify this?

    1. anne

      So all the reports about doctors being told not to tell patients about false negatives is not true?

      There’s nothing “wishy-washy” about the sentence you quoted. Is English your first language?

      1. Cian

        That is not what I said. I didn’t mention any other doctors. Don’t put words in my mouth.

        I was unclear. I should have said that original sentence is ambiguous (rather than wishy-washy).

        The original sentence makes it sound like the HSE were aware of the false negative in 2011. It makes it sound like the HSE knew she had cancer three years before she did.

        This is why I asked for a timeline – to clarify who knew what, and when.

        1. anne

          They knew of the false negatives before she did..

          Here’s your timeline:
          Vicky Phelan had a smear in 2011. It was a false negative.

          In 2014 an audit of smears was carried out.

          She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014.

          She did not learn of the review or audit until 2017. 3 years later.

          Doctors were advised not to bother telling patients of the botched results in 2016. If the women were dead, just record the result on their file was the advise.

          2018.. Vicky Phelan mother of two has terminal cancer and will die, along with numerous other woman.

          This information is all available. Why are you badgering “himself” like.

          1. Adama

            +1.

            That’s an accurate timeline of the events as we know it so far.

            @Cian – try as you might, there isn’t a spin technique available out of this one.

          2. jusayinlike

            +1 Adama

            Cian the contrarion has been bleeting this waffle for the last 2 days..

          3. Cian

            anne – you are being disingenuous: you write:
            “In 2014 an audit of smears was carried out.
            She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014. ”
            Both statements are true, but you have them in the wrong order.

            2011: she went for a smear test . this was botched, and she was given the all-clear
            2014: she went for her next 3-year smear test (again, with Cervical Check).
            2014: the smear came back positive: was diagnosed with cervical cancer. This information was shared with her.
            2014 (later): Cervical Check realised that something was wrong [the cancer shouldn’t be as advanced if her earlier test was clear] and conducted an audit of her earlier test… and realised that the 2011 test results were incorrect.
            2014: Cervical Check failed to disclose that the earlier test was a false negative.
            2017: Vicky Phelan learned about the 2014 review of her 2011 test.

          4. anne

            We’re in agreement, they failed to disclose the 2011 false negative, when they knew in 2014. She didn’t learn of it until 2017.

            Stop trying to convolute things..

          5. Cian

            Anne. I agree that “they failed to disclose the 2011 false negative, when they knew in 2014. She didn’t learn of it until 2017.”

            Do you agree that the HSE told Ms Phelan that she had cancer before they knew that the earlier tests were wrong?

          6. anne

            Are you suggesting they did something good in telling her she had cancer in 2014?

            Like they could have withheld that too, sorta thing?

            Want to go another round of questions?

          7. Truthful Ulsterman

            2011 false negative smear
            2014 accurate positive smear
            2014 previous smear reviewed
            2017 Mrs Phelan informed

          8. Cian

            Did you know that Ms Phelan’s doctor knew about the false-positive from July 2016 until she was eventually informed in August/September 2017?

            Do you want to guess why they didn’t tell her?

          9. realPolithicks

            Cian, you’ve been trying to make excuses for these guys for a couple of days now. Any particular reason for that?

          10. Adama

            Unless he works for the HSE director I can’t think of any reason why he’s dancing on the head of a (s)pin on this issue…

  2. fmong

    “During her court action, Ms Phelan refused to sign a confidentiality agreement – giving rise to the information about the 208 women becoming public knowledge.”

    It’s mind blowing to me that they would expect her to sign this sort of agreement..

    1. Frilly Keane

      that’s the toughest part of this story the HSE etc will have to deal with

  3. GiggidyGoo

    And, in Sligo today, today’s HSE payout of €5m is agreed. Daily occurrence almost now.

    1. david

      I wonder how much last year 500 million a billion
      Then the year before?
      The year before that?
      How many hospitals could be built with that?
      How many on waiting lists could be treated?
      How many social houses could be provided?

  4. david

    The government cannot be allowed to worm their way out of this with tribunals or HIQA
    Its a full independent investigation to be followed by a criminal investigation followed by a trial followed by jail if found guilty
    As the facts are emerging its getting worse and worse
    Now it appears the same company was awarded the bowl screening contract
    How many false results ?how many could be in the same situation as the hundreds of women
    This now could be men and women

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