Patient advocates to call for independent individual reviews for women in CervicalCheck scandal

Those impacted have demanded individual independent reviews of their smear screening, cytological and clinical history after the publication of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) review.

Patient advocates to call for independent individual reviews for women in CervicalCheck scandal

Patient advocates are to stress the need for independent individual reviews for women caught up in the CervicalCheck scandal when they attend the Health Committee tomorrow.

Those impacted have demanded individual independent reviews of their smear screening, cytological and clinical history after the publication of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) review.

Patient representatives Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh will tomorrow raise the need to implement all of Dr Gabriel Scally's recommendations as well as supporting staff working in the screening service at the committee.

While the RGOG review said the CervicalCheck programme is working effectively, it found that for 159 women, including 12 who have died, there were “missed opportunities” to prevent or diagnose their cancer earlier.

It also emerged that batches of women’s slides were returned to RCOG by the HSE because of discrepancies with the data. There were issues around the labelling of slides and, in some cases, women received two different sets of results.

Speaking about the need for individual reviews, Mr Teap said: "This is the only way to find out the truth with regards to what discordance actually means in each case.

We are not just asking for it because we think it would be a good idea. We know it's the only way to get the truth. It's the only way for many women to get closure.

Health Committee chair Michael Harty said: “The RCOG review gives a clear insight into not just the limitations of screening but also the impact of an incorrect reading on the lives of women where cancer could have been prevented or could have been picked up at an early stage thus avoiding extensive treatment like chemotherapy or the need for a hysterectomy.

"That is why it is important as part of the Committee’s review that we hear from the patient representatives especially around the issue of communications and about placing women at the centre of screening.”

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