Lab addition to CervicalCheck programme without checks shows 'nothing learnt from crisis to date' - Louise O'Reilly TD
Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD said the findings of the ‘Independent Rapid Review of Specific Issues in the Cervical Check Screening Programme’ which found that a lab was added to the CervicalCheck programme without proper checks, shows nothing has been learnt from the crisis to date.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The findings of the ‘Independent Rapid Review of Specific Issues in the Cervical Check Screening Programme’ which showed that a lab was added to the CervicalCheck programme without proper checks or operational due diligence, shows that nothing has been learnt from the crisis to date.
“Previously this year when it was announced that additional capacity had been secured to reduce the backlog of smear tests and delays in results, I publicly called on the Minister to publish the quality assurance assessments they carried out on the new labs.
"It beggars belief that this quality assurance was not carried out.
“The rapid review has not only highlighted a multitude of issues which should not have arisen, but with 4,080 women affected, that number is much higher than originally thought.
“The review highlights many similar issues which have existed since the CervicalCheck scandal original arose such as women not being supplied with their own medical information.
"As Professor Brian MacCraith’s review states – the situation was defined by a constant theme of women being frustrated by poor service and a lack of information - their information.”.
“The review shines a light on a litany of problems that campaigners and Sinn Féin have been consistently highlighting, in particular the importance having our own national screening laboratory service for CervicalCheck.
"This repatriation of the testing to Ireland is something I have been calling for since the beginning of this scandal and which Sinn Féin has been calling for since 2008 when the services were originally outsourced.
“The suggested recommendations to oversight and how results are distributed need to be implemented as soon as possible, while funding and a strategy needs to put in place for the repatriation of all CervicalCheck smear testing to laboratories in Ireland over the coming years.
“It is quite disheartening to see that many of the failures outlined in the review highlight that little has been learnt from the whole scandal to date.
"It is now important that Prof MacCraith’s recommendations are implemented as quickly as possible.”