CervicalCheck boss steps down amid smear test blunder

  • CervicalCheck boss steps down amid smear test blunder

CervicalCheck boss steps down amid smear test blunder

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now reviewing cases from hundreds of women in Ireland who may have been wrongly given negative results by the national cervical cancer screening programme.

Earlier on Saturday, Mr Harris's Department of Health confirmed that it had advised CervicalCheck to arrange for additional smear tests for women whose Global Positioning System say they need them - at the cost of the State.

Ms. Phelan (43), was given incorrect test results and is now terminally ill with cervical cancer.

Her resignation comes after it was revealed that 206 women were wrongly diagnosed following routine smear tests.

The professor, who it was understood would remain in her position up until last night despite Minister for Health Simon Harris expressing he had no confidence in the CervicalCheck management, announced her decision in a statement from the HSE on Saturday night.

This comes as Vicky Phelan, who has terminal cancer, claimed that three Irish women whose smear test results had to be audited have died.

"As soon as I heard the voice I knew who it was and he said "hi Vicky, it is Simon Harris here", Ms Phelan explained.

A full review into the cervical screening programme has been announced.

Solicitor for Ms Phelan, Cian O'Carroll, told RTÉ's This Week that the defence documents lodged in the court case by the State contradict the terms of the apology issued last week.

"A cancer diagnosis is one of the most, if not the most, hard experiences a person and their family can deal with".

It said that despite the controversy, it is "fully supportive" of CervicalCheck, describing it as "the best available measure we have at our disposal to detect cervical cancer early".

"Figures from National Cancer Registry Ireland show that the cervical cancer rate in Ireland has reduced significantly as a direct result of the CervicalCheck programme".

"No diagnostic test or screening service is 100% reliable, but what should be the number one priority for all aspects of the health service is the patient and their care".

The fallout from her case against the HSE and the United States lab that tested her smear sample and gave her the wrong results is contuining.

The charity added that any woman affected by this story who needs support can speak to trained cancer nurses on 1800 200 700.