The recent CervicalCheck scandal came to public attention arising from a case brought before the High Court by a woman who received an incorrect smear test result.
The incorrect results, known as false negatives, were carried out in a laboratory in the United States under contract from the Irish government funded CervicalCheck.
Following a review of women diagnosed with cervical cancer since 2008, matters were compounded when it the HSE’s Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) discovered that despite the HSE becoming aware of the incorrect results, they were not conveyed to the women involved.
While the false negative results have left women understandably nervous and unsure, the fact that it now appears the HSE was aware of the incorrect results and chose not to pass that information on to a reported 209 women has left people angry and upset.
To date, 209 women have been identified by the HSE SIMT however there is every chance this number is far greater. Of the 209 women whose incorrect results have been audited by CervicalCheck after they were diagnosed with cancer, it has been admitted that had the inaccurate results been made known to the women at an earlier stage, they may have had a different outcome.
The HSE set up an emergency helpline and within the first few days had received over 11,000 calls seeking clarification regarding CervicalCheck. Many women have now been in touch with their solicitors to understand their legal position regarding the incorrect smear test results and more importantly the fact the HSE chose not to inform women when they became aware of the discrepancies.
The Government is in the process of setting up an International Independent Review Group to investigate why women were not told of the false negative results and when medics first discovered the errors. The Government has indicated as a result of their “scoping” exercise it is considering the establishment of a redress scheme to compensate women who have been impacted.
Blake & Kenny Solicitors has been monitoring the scandal and has already received contact from women who received a telephone call from the HSE informing them of their incorrect results alongside the fact that CervicalCheck and the HSE were aware of these results and chose not to let them know. Our solicitors welcome the opportunity to discuss with any woman with concerns what she might do under the circumstances.
There are very strict timelines placed on the commencement of legal proceedings in cases such as this and while the Government is considering an overall redress scheme, we know from prior experience these schemes take lengthy periods to establish and do not always provide adequate compensation.
If you have any questions at all about the CervicalCheck scandal or legal procedures please don’t hesitate to contact our Hillary Molloy for a complete confidential discussion on 091-564340 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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