Published: Tue, May 01, 2018
Medical | By

Over 2000 women called CervicalCheck helpline since Saturday

Over 2000 women called CervicalCheck helpline since Saturday

Chair of the HSE Serious Incident Management Team, Patrick Lynch, today said that 17 women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy had died.

The results of an audit into the CervicalCheck controversy were released today.


175 out of 208 women with cancer would have benefited from earlier treatment, while 162 that were part of a look-back were not told about the review or its outcome.

He said all are expected to have been informed by Tuesday.

In most of those cases, the earlier tests were found to have been correctly conducted and analyzed - the cancer had developed later - but in the 208 identified cases, reviews of the earlier tests found clear signs of cancer that had been missed.

Last week, Ms Phelan settled her High Court action against a United States laboratory for €2.5m. The settlement was made without an admission of liability.

He said a "roadmap" is now needed on what should happen next, and stressed the Government must do all it can to re-assure the public as to the competence and safety of the CervicalCheck smear test system.

The Health Minister revealed on Monday, after the HSE confirmed that 17 women affected by the botched test results had died, that "all necessary powers" will examine the CervicalCheck screening programme.

In January of this year, she was told her cancer was terminal and was given six to 12 months to live.

The HSE today said that 17 women who were affected by the Cervical Check controversy have died.


'It is my hope and expectation that these steps will ensure the integrity of the cervical screening programme at the same time as providing learning for all cancer screening programmes.

"I am sorry that recent events caused distress and worry to women", she said in a statement.

All of the women affected are due to be contacted tomorrow and a helpline set up on Friday for people who are concerned about their tests has now received over 6,000 calls. The number is 1800 45 45 55.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there will be an inquiry into the matter and that there are some serious questions to be answered. While insisting that cancer screening "does work", he acknowledged that there had been "appalling communication failures".

Every woman who had has a smear test can have a re-check if they want it, Harris added.

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