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.”
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)