Rapid review into CervicalCheck's latest problem

DCU president appointed chair
  • Deborah Condon

The HSE has commissioned an "immediate rapid review" into why some women did not receive their CervicalCheck results.

Last week, it emerged that around 800 women who had undergone CervicalCheck screening, were never issued with their results.

The tests had been carried out between October 2018 and June of this year and were mainly repeat tests for human papillomavirus (HPV).

HSE chief executive, Paul Reid, has commissioned a review, which will examine all aspects of the incident, with a particular focus on how these matters were communicated to the women involved.

"I have asked Prof Brian MacCraith to act as independent external chairperson for this review, which I expect to be completed in a short number of weeks. Among the matters that will be considered will be how the communication process for providing results to women was planned and managed, and how this worked in practise," Mr Reid said.

The scope of the review will be to examine the series of events within the CervicalCheck programme that occurred following reported IT issues in Quest Diagnostics relating to the HPV test expiration for a number of women and the re-testing process.

The period of the review will be from the time the IT issue first emerged, up to and including the public reporting of these issues on July 11, 2019.

Prof McCraith is president of Dublin City University and he will be supported in his work by the HSE's National Quality Assurance and Verification Team. He will also have access to any external expert advice he may require during the course of this review.

The review group will provide a report to Mr Reid by August 2. However, if during the course of the review, Prof MacCraith identifies any immediate risks or safety concerns, "he will escalate these to the HSE's CEO".

"We have worked hard to try to rebuild confidence in the cervical screening programme in Ireland, and the delays identified in recent days in providing results to women are not acceptable. I want this work to commence quickly and be completed in a timely manner, and will ensure Brian and the team are aided in their work by the full cooperation of all involved in the HSE and in the National Screening Service," Mr Reid said.


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