Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (444)

Bríd Smith


444. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the number of slides requested by a college (details supplied) to be included in its review and which had been given consent for inclusion by the women concerned but were not available to the review due to the fact the laboratory concerned could not locate them, by laboratory; if the slides have subsequently become available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51751/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The transfer of slides from CervicalCheck labs for the RCOG Review was a complex process that involved the retrieval, imaging, packing and transfer of over 1,700 slides spanning a period of approximately 11 years, since the commencement of the CervicalCheck programme.In addition to the over 1,700 slides which transferred, the HSE reported during the process that a total of 35 slides of women or next of kin who had consented to be included in the review were not located by the laboratories as of the closing date for slide transfers to RCOG on 7 June.

Nine of these slides have since been located. The majority of these unavailable slides were requested from Quest Diagnostics. This is in keeping with the fact that the majority of slide requests (over 1000 of the approx 1700) for inclusion in the RCOG review pertained to Quest.The HSE communicated with those affected in June 2019 to inform them of this issue. For the women whose slides were not located in time to be included in the Review, and who thus had slides excluded from the Review due to a factor outside their control, it was decided they may avail of the support package and access to the CervicalCheck Tribunal, if they so wish, as if they had been identified as having discordant results on review by the Independent Clinical Expert Panel.