Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (426)

Alan Kelly


426. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the date and time of all meetings, consultations and correspondence, and the purposes of each, between Ministers or officials and a person (details supplied) since the person undertook work in relation to CervicalCheck; if similar information will be provided regarding meetings between HSE officials and the person for the same time period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21862/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Since the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme was established in May 2018, I along with officials from my Department met with Dr Scally on a number of occasions. These included meetings on 11/6/2018 and 10/9/2018, regarding his First and Progress Reports and his Final Report, respectively; 10/10/2018 relating to the supplementary report which Dr Scally was requested to undertake and implementation of his recommendations; and 31/1/2019 in the context of a meeting with members of the 221+ Patient Advocacy Group.

Officials from my Department also met with Dr Scally in person or by telecon on 24 May, 12 July, 8 August, 28 August, 20 November, 17 December 2018 and 14 February 2019. These meetings related to Dr Scally's work at various stages, including facilitating the work of the inquiry, updates on the progress of the work and engaging with Dr Scally in assessing the work under way to implement his recommendations.

In addition to the above meetings, Dr Scally has written to me or to Departmental officials on a number of occasions including 8/5/2018, 16/5/2018, 22/5/2018, 30/5/2018; 12/6/2018; 8/8/2018, 23/8/2018, 31/8/2018; 1/1/2018, 26/11/2018, 30/11/2018; 15/2/2019, 2/5/2019. Correspondence related to practical issues including estimated costs, invoices, declaration of interests; requests for documents for the purposes of his inquiry; and substantive matters relating to the progress and implementation of his work.

I or my officials have written to Dr Scally on 17/5/2018, 21/5/2018, 22/5/2018; 1/6/2018, 7/6/2018, 18/6/2018, 19/6/2018, 22/6/2018; 6/7/2018, 9/7/2018, 16/7/2018, 18/7/2018; 30/8/2018; 25/10/2018; and 27/11/2018. Correspondence related to practical matters such as indemnification of various members of the inquiry team and invoicing arrangements; provision of documents for the inquiry; and substantive matters relating to his work including terms of reference and implementation of recommendations.

As set out in the Final Report of the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, in completing this Report Dr Scally or his team also interviewed key personnel from organisations concerned, including the Department of Health.

It is not possible in the time available to confirm that the above is an exhaustive list of all meetings and correspondence, but it does represent the factual position as established in the time available.

In relation to the Deputy's query regarding meetings between HSE officials and Dr Scally, I have asked the HSE to respond to him directly.