Harris respects Lorraine Walsh's decision to resign from CervicalCheck committee

Harris respects Lorraine Walsh's decision to resign from CervicalCheck committee

The Health Minister says he respects Lorraine Walsh's decision to resign from the CervicalCheck steering committee.

The patient representative is quitting as she says she does not have confidence in the accuracy of a report into slides belonging to 1,000 women with cancer.

Yesterday's review by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) found original test results for 308 women were wrong and 159 of those had missed opportunities for diagnosis.

Last night patient advocate Lorraine Walsh, one of the original 221 women whose smear tests were wrong, announced her resignation from the CervicalCheck steering committee after the report was published.

She said she wished she could have confidence in the report but she did not after learning a few months ago that information coming from the UK experts to the HSE was inaccurate.

But Health Minister Simon Harris says the report's authors have apologised for any errors.

"My understanding is that RCOG were receiving anonymised slides. Obviously, then those anonymised slides then needed to be matched to personal patient details," said Mr Harris.

"In a very small number of cases there was an error which RCOG apologies for."

Lorraine Walsh says she cannot stand over the report.

"What I learned that day and reports that I got from the Royal College, in one fell swoop all of my confidence had been depleted," said Ms Walsh.

"I wish I was able to stand up in front of the women of Ireland and say as patient representative that we worked hard and significant changes have been made."

She said she spoke to the steering committee and the Minister about her concerns but felt she was not being listened to.

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