HIQA Investigation and separate Clinical Review into Cervical Check

208 women have been affected by the screening controversy and the HSE confirmed this afternoon that 162 of those women were not told that a review had been conducted of their tests.

In a statement released shortly after, Minister Harris said: 'Vicky Phelan has done a huge and courageous service to this country in highlighting a number of major weaknesses in relation to how people experience our health service.

"Full powers of compelability for both documents and witnesses, and it will focus on the quality assurance process on the labs and on the issue of communication with patients".

It also emerged that in 175 of the 208 cases, a different treatment should have been given to the women when the original screening results were reviewed.

Reacting to the news that there is to be an inquiry into the scandal, Ms Phelan said: "What I don't want to see is - the minute I heard that announcement this morning it raised waning signals with me - what I don't want to see is an inquiry or tribunal that's going to take years and is going to be dragged out". Minister Harris must set out in detail what steps he is taking to ensure all affected women are informed immediately. However this was incorrect and by the time she had another smear test in 2014, she had cervical cancer. I am determined that swift action will follow to address these weaknesses.

'I will be asking HIQA to identify within its terms of reference any implications that may apply to other cancer screening programmes.

Chair of the HSE Serious Incident Management Team, Patrick Lynch, today said that 17 women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy had died.

The HSE says it can't confirm reports that 12 women whose cancer diagnoses were delayed have died.

'In addition I am appointing an International Clinical Expert Panel to provide the women concerned with an individual clinical review.

"I don't think anyone could have imagined the magnitude of this", she added.

The number which can be contacted on 1800 45 45 55 will open at 9am and close at 6pm this evening.

  • Santos West