Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (268)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

268. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the status of the supplementary report into the CervicalCheck screening programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40838/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

On 12 September 2018, the Report of the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, was published following a Government decision. Government has accepted all 50 recommendations set out in the Report.

The Report is unequivocal in stating that the widespread non-disclosure of the results of historical screening audits was a substantial breach of trust for the women and families concerned. It caused significant distress and additional suffering to those affected.

However, Dr Scally is clear in his report that the Inquiry is satisfied with the quality management processes in the labs contracted by CervicalCheck. His report presents no evidence that the rates of discordant smear reporting or the performance of the programme fell below what is expected in a cervical screening programme.

Crucially, he has confirmed that he finds no reason why the existing contracts for laboratory services should not continue until the new HPV regime is introduced. This is very welcome reassurance for women in Ireland and very welcome also given the importance of screening for women’s health.

The report highlights issues with accreditation of some of the laboratories used in the past for CervicalCheck work. In light of this, Dr Scally has undertaken to do further work, on which he will provide a supplementary report to the Minister.