As the Deputy will be aware, the purpose of the Independent Clinical Expert Review being conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is to provide women, or their next of kin, with independent clinical assurance about the timing of their diagnosis and treatment. This is reflected in the Terms of Reference for the Review, which are published on the website of my Department.
Every woman who has been diagnosed with cervical cancer since September 2008 whose cancer was registered with the National Cancer Registry of Ireland before 5 May 2018, and who has had one or more tests under the CervicalCheck programme, was offered a review of her case.
Where the expert panel opinion of cytology results differs to the original results provided by CervicalCheck, the panel endeavoured to determine, wherever possible, any failures to prevent cancer or to intervene at an earlier stage, and the panel has prepared individual reports for those affected, setting out the facts and their expert and independent assessment of those facts.
As set out in the TOR, the Review will also produce an aggregate report, which shall include recommendations where appropriate, with the aim of improving care for women. While the aggregate report has not yet been received, the Royal College wrote to me in September 2019 and advised that, based on the provisional findings of its Review, the performance characteristics of the CervicalCheck Screening Programme that fall within the scope of the Review appear to be broadly in line with experience in the UK.