Mislabelled Slides, ‘Discordant’ Results


Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists logo; CervicalCheck logo

In the wake of Vicky Phelan’s case in April of last year, and the subsequent fall-out, the Government commissioned a team from the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to review more than 1,000 CervicalCheck slides.

This report, due to go before Cabinet today, is also expected to be published today.

However, this morning Fergal Bowers reported on RTÉ that some of the key campaigners in the 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group will not be attending the RCOG briefing.

Mr Bowers reports:

RTÉ News has learned of concerns by some women about RCOG review reports that had to be returned by the HSE to the UK team, due to apparent inaccuracies or omissions.

In some cases, slides were mislabelled, women were told their original smear test result was correct, only to be later given a different result.

In other cases, women were told their original slide was not available for review and later told their slide had become available.


Paul Cullen in The Irish Times reports:

Another 60 women have applied to join the support group for those affected by the CervicalCheck controversy after an independent review of their smear tests found abnormalities were missed.

The women are among hundreds who have received a “discordant” result from a review of their slides led by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in the UK.

This means the review – which re-examined the slides of more than 1,000 women who had been tested for the disease under CervicalCheck, were given the all-clear and later developed cancer – produced a result that was different from the original finding by CervicalCheck, with possible implications for the women’s treatment and health outcomes.

Concerns raised over CervicalCheck review reports (RTÉ)

CervicalCheck: 60 more seek out support group after smear test review (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)

RCOG review of smear tests to be published (Catherine Shanahan, The Irish Examiner)

Previously: “A Result That Is Different From The Original Finding By CervicalCheck”

‘Tell That To My Children, And The Children Of Emma Mhic Mhathúna And Ruth Morrissey’

2 thoughts on “Mislabelled Slides, ‘Discordant’ Results

  1. popeye

    You left this bit out…
    “The findings of the slide review are in line with the patterns of discordance reported in the English audit of cervical cancer and are not in themselves a cause for concern.”
    Screening does not give the “all clear”.Screening saves lives. There is a margin of error. If we want to reduce the error, we give more resources to the screening. Which means taking them from another area of our healthcare system or putting more resources in through our taxes. We can’t have it every which way. Fund it or don’t, but know the risks and don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

    1. popeye

      And just to be clear where I stand, I want to fund it properly. Send slides to reliable labs with high professional standards and the lowest possible error rates. And also believe that the women that this scandal has effected, whose lives have been lost or shortened, should have full redress. Errors will happen in the future, it’s inevitable, but hopefully never again on this scale and with open acknowledgement to those effected.

Comments are closed.