Yes I have, although I do not intend to provide information in respect of engagements with individuals or their families, so I will confine my response to details of formal engagements with representatives of the 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group, whom I met on a number of occasions: Wednesday, 2 September 2020, Friday, 23 October 2020 and Monday, 26 October 2020.
At these meetings I engaged in discussion with the representatives of the Group on their experiences and concerns and to find the best way forward for those affected by CervicalCheck issues.
The two later meetings were held specifically in relation to the CervicalCheck Tribunal and how cases arising from CervicalCheck would be dealt with.
I am committed to supporting the central role that patients play in the development of health policy and the reform of health services, the 221+Group play a vital role in this regard. The 221+Group provide essential services in assisting patients and next of kin of those directly affected by the CervicalCheck issues through the provision of information, advice and support.
An independent Chairperson was appointed to The CervicalCheck Steering Committee in October 2020. Professor Anne Scott, Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, NUI Galway, chaired the first meeting of the Committee in January, a second meeting is scheduled later this month. Two patient representatives from the 221+Group are on the CervicalCheck Steering Committee.
Funding for the 221+ Support Group has been extended beyond August 2021, funding will support the Group going forward so that it can continue its very important work in assisting patients and next of kin of those directly affected by the CervicalCheck issues through the provision of information, advice and support.