Cancer screening: Assurances on quality are desperately needed

Some 162 women were not informed that their original cervical cancer screening test had been misread. The failure to tell women, or their families, the truth raises obvious questions around the duty of candour in the health service

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
1st May, 2018
Patrick Lynch (L) and HSE chief Tony O'Brien (R) at a media briefing on CervicalCheck. Pic: RollingNews.ie

Among the most troubling systemic issues to have surfaced since Vicky Phelan’s tragic story became national news are the lack of understanding about the importance of open disclosure and questions about the laboratory that reviews smears for Ireland’s national cervical cancer screening programme.

Yesterday it emerged that the health services had failed to tell the majority of women affected that their initial cervical smears had been misread.

The review was of...

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