December 3, 2019
Missed opportunities at centre of latest CervicalCheck review – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said the findings of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists review into thousands of CervicalCheck highlights lost opportunities and failures.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) review into more than 1,000 CervicalCheck slides highlights lost opportunities and failures in different aspects of the screening programme.

“The Review disagreed with the CervicalCheck result in 308 cases, but in 159 of these cases the Expert Panel considered that the CervicalCheck result had an adverse effect on the woman’s outcome, meaning that had the abnormalities been found during the review been recognised at the time, this might have provided an opportunity to prevent cancer or to detect cancer at an earlier stage.

“Furthermore, detailed scrutiny of colposcopy did identify cases where management of abnormal smears could have been better. The authors of the report said this reinforces the need for vigilance and adherence to CervicalCheck clinical practice guidelines.

“The aspects of the report which highlight mistakes, failures, and missed opportunities makes for difficult reading and highlight the need for the recommendations of this review, and other reports relating to the CervicalCheck scandal to be implemented as a matter of urgency.

“Funding and resources should be made readily available for the screening programme so as these recommendations can be implemented.

“However, we cannot ignore the fact that the women affected raised serious concerns about this investigation due to some review reports having to be returned by the HSE to the British team because of apparent inaccuracies or omissions.

“The report, whether it be its contents or construction, is far from satisfactory and the Minister for Health needs to allow for it to be debated in the Dáil as soon as possible.”

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