Delay, Delay, Delay


President of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine Dr Gabriel Scally who is carrying out a scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck scandal

The Health Service Executive has confirmed that the number of women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy has increased from 209 to 221.

HSE Director General John Conaghan told the Public Accounts Committee, in response to questions from Labour’s Alan Kelly, that a further 12 cases have been identified.

Mr Conaghan said that so far three cases have been settled, 35 are active and there are two potential cases.

In relation to the review of 3,000 smear tests which has yet to begin, Mr Kelly said it will be impossible for the Scally Review to be completed by the end of August….

Number of women affected in smear test scandal rises to 221 (RTÉ)


Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD accused the HSE of “deliberately delaying” the release of the slides for review by independent cytologists by holding up a crucial protocol for their release.

Ms Shorthall said:

“The lack of urgency being shown by the HSE in allowing women to get access to their smear tests is incredibly alarming.

The only conclusion that we can draw at this stage is that the HSE is deliberately foot-dragging on this issue to impede women’s efforts to seek legal redress.

…I am also increasingly concerned that the scoping inquiry headed by Dr Gabriel Scally is being frustrated by its lack of access to the lab data it needs to fulfil its important mandate.

Dr Scally’s inquiry has already faced difficulties in getting documentation in searchable formats.

The data on the accuracy rates of screening by individual labs is the key information needed.

Why is there a delay in making this available to Dr Scally? The Minister must step in to ensure there is no further delay in releasing this information.”



This morning.

On Today with Sean O’Rourke, presented by Miriam O’Callaghan, Vicky Phelan was asked for her reaction to Fergal Bowers’ report that not even one of the 3,000 cervical smear slides being reviewed have been looked at yet.

Ms Phelan said:

Justine McCarthy actually wrote about this in The Sunday Times – it was actually a couple of weeks ago, on the 17th of June. Because she had been in touch with me beforehand, before she published it, to see if I had heard anything different.

“So, you know, she had highlighted this back then and she had got the statement from the college of gynaecologists [Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists] who confirmed that the review wouldn’t be completed until later in the year.

“So I’m not sure why that wasn’t highlighted at the time, you know, a couple of weeks ago that it’s only kind of coming to the attention of the HSE today. I’m a bit surprised to be honest.”

Review of cancer labs’ tests ordered by Simon Harris has yet to begin (Justine McCarthy, The Sunday Times, June 17, 2018)


10 thoughts on “Delay, Delay, Delay

  1. Ask Arsene

    I wish I had no responsibility to others too sometimes,but not at times like this.

  2. Giggidygoo

    So, Harris tells us way back that these tests will be completed in May 2018. We are now in July 2018,and they haven’t even been started.
    Why does he insist on lying? Short term break from the spotlight? Himself, Murphy and Varadkar are just boys. Not up to a real job. All three engage in childish actions, and all three are caught out ultra quickly.

    1. Cian

      it is almost like this was a trivial task that could be done by an intern in a few hours; and the staff in Cervical Check haven’t anything better to be doing… you know, like running a screening service, personally contacting the women involved, responding to parliamentary questions, attending the PAC, setting up and responding to an influx of queries, responding to data protection requests, ensuring all of the above are GDPR compliant; compiling information for court cases; …

      But all those little things aside – this review should be happening quicker.

        1. Cian

          Why not?
          The catastrophic failures, to date, have been with the US labs – they misread her smear.
          Not Cervical Check. Not HSE. Not Harris. Not Murphy. Not Varadkar.
          Cervical Check’s failure was not informing Vicky directly – they told her doctor 14 months earlier that her initial tests we audited and were false negatives.

          The 3 Labs (including 1 in the US) that run the tests are all within “the levels of best international practice.”

          1. Ron

            @Cian… my only wish for you is that when tragedy strikes your life. Not IF but WHEN it does, that there is people there to console you, offer you compassion, respect, someone to hold your hand and give you words of comfort as your whole world falls apart. And I hope when that happens it forces you to reflect on your life, all the times you failed to show compassion, support and understanding to others and makes you finally realise what a gigantic ball bag you were. Have a great day Cian.

          2. Cian

            Ron, okay you may have a point.

            If I were to meet Vicky today, I wouldn’t go up to her and say those things – because what context would I have. I don’t know the woman.

            However, If I *did* know Vicky, and we were having a chat, and it came up, then yes – I would say those things. Showing “compassion, support and understanding” is not mutually exclusive from logic, truth, and facts.

  3. gringo

    Where is sympathetic Simon? Surely his great love for the women of Ireland would never allow his Dept. to treat them like a bunch of annoying plebs? Or has he lost interest now that the repeal campaign is over?

    1. Ron

      Getting ready for his summer holidays. Sure a 15.3 billion euro Health Budget practically manages itself.

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