Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Ceisteanna (108, 124, 379, 380, 381)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

108. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health the location of the laboratories that conducted the tests on the 221 women identified to date (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43623/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

124. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health if the laboratories in which the 221 cases of women given false negative results conducted by CervicalCheck are known to him, the HSE and CervicalCheck management; and if so, the reason this information has not been provided to this Deputy in view of numerous requests for same. [43627/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

379. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of the 221 women that were diagnosed with cervical cancer that have had a change to the categorisation of their smear tests upon a subsequent review that was initiated by CervicalCheck after the women were diagnosed; and the number of these women from County Louth. [43283/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

380. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if he has requested that the HSE provide a breakdown of the locations in which the cytology slides of the 221 women affected by the CervicalCheck cancer scandal were examined; and if not, his plans to do so. [43284/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

381. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of the 221 women affected by the CervicalCheck cancer scandal that consented to participate in the review by an organisation (details supplied) instigated by him; the number of the women that consented from County Louth; and the number of women that were contacted regarding the review process. [43285/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108, 124, 379 to 381, inclusive, together.

Since the inception of the cervical screening programme, CervicalCheck has been notified of a total of 1,482 cases of cervical cancer. The 221 figure is the number of women within the 1,482 for whom the clinical audit conducted by CervicalCheck showed a differing cytology recommendation to their original test. I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to the number of women among the 221 who come from Co. Louth.

In light of the particular sensitivities surrounding this issue it was decided that written, informed consent will be sought from women or the next-of-kin of women who have passed away, before they are included in the review which will be carried out by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. This consent process is nearing completion. To date, 1,591 letters have issued to individuals requesting consent to participate in RCOG Review. Consent forms have been returned by 813 individuals (51%), of whom 786 have consented to participate. Within this group, 65 women are among the 221 affected women and families.

In regard to laboratories, it can be noted that each of the laboratories which provides services for CervicalCheck serves a discrete population of women. Individual GP practices, clinics and colposcopy services are assigned to one designated programme laboratory. The samples of all tests taken in those locations are processed in the assigned laboratory. As has previously been stated, it can be assumed that false negatives have arisen in all contracted laboratories due to the limitations of screening and the fact that false negatives are inherent in screening. However, variations arise in relation to the socioeconomic status of populations assigned to each lab, urban-rural breakdown, overall volume of tests performed by the lab, the percentage of tests which are received from colposcopy clinics (this would result in the lab receiving a disproportionate number of high grade lesions) and other factors.