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More ambition and a clear plan needed to ensure implementation of Scally Report recommendations – O’Reilly

22 March, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this morning upon the release of a new progress report by Dr Gabriel Scally into the CervicalCheck scandal, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that, while some good work has been done to date to implement the recommendations of the Scally Report, more ambition and a clear plan were needed.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The CervicalCheck scandal and resulting inquiry by Dr Gabriel Scally rocked the health service and our society to its core.

“In the aftermath of that scandal, much political capital was staked in the inquiry into the scandal by Dr Scally and the recommendations which it proposed to make sure this would never happen again.

“It is important that Dr Scally’s progress report highlights that work is ongoing on many of the recommendations which he stated were necessary to move the health service forward from this low point.

“There appears to be an appetite to carry out this work. However, it is also clear that there needs to be greater ambition and a clear plan to pursue the implementation of the recommendations.

“As often is the case, there are a number of important recommendations which are lagging and there does not appear to be an appropriate plan or resources to ensure the implementation and compliance with all of Dr Scally’s recommendations in a timely fashion.

“In many instances, recommendations are being rushed as if this is a race and Dr Scally noted that the Department of Health has few staff for whom implementing the recommendations is their sole job.

“This is just not good enough, the Department of Health is responsible for driving this change and it should be a central plank of their work for 2019.

“It is also disappointing that the HSE appear to be lagging on the core issue of open disclosure with the previous policy, which has been judged to be deeply flawed, remaining in place.

“This is still quite worrying when we also consider the government is nowhere near progressing the Patient Safety Bill, which still has not even been drafted.

“Furthermore, it is equally frustrating that the recommendations on outsourcing, a practice of which there is still significant questions to answer over its role in the CervicalCheck scandal, will not report be addressed until later this year.

“There needs to be a clear plan with the necessary ambition and resources so the recommendations of Dr Scally can be implemented with clarity and purpose for the benefit of the health service and patients in the long term.” 

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