THE Scally report into the Cervical Check incident which impacted more than 200 women across Ireland, was ‘horrific’ to read for the victims and their families.
Cork man Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene passed away after two incorrect smear tests, said the priority now is to ensure the immediate implementation of the recommendations from the report to restore faith in the system for the women of Ireland and their families.
“You have absolutely no idea of the emotion and pain that we felt yesterday going through this inquiry,” Mr Teap said at a press conference yesterday.
“It is horrific for us to read, particularly for myself when I see exactly how the ending of Irene's life now can be summed up in this.
“She did everything right. She got her smear test done. She put her 100% trust and faith in the system,” he added.
Mr Teap revealed that he is very concerned with some of the findings within the report.
He said that the 50 recommendations proposed by Dr Scally need to be implemented immediately.
“Whatever route is taken after this, either a commission of investigation or an inquiry, it cannot impact or delay the implementation of these very, very critical recommendations,” added Mr Teap.
The report into the incident which impacted more than 200 women across Ireland, recommended that a statutory duty of candour be placed both on individual healthcare professionals and on the organisations for which they work.
It also said that the HSE’s open disclosure policy and HSE/SCA guidelines should be revised as a matter of urgency and that the Department of Health (DOH) and the HSE should revise their policies in respect of document management.
The report also recommended that the Minister for Health consider how women’s health issues can be given more consistent, expert and committed attention within the health system and the Department of Health and that the DOH make people’s medical records available in a more ‘timely and respectful way.’
Speaking after he published his report, Dr Scally said that said the problems uncovered by his inquiry ‘are redolent of a whole-system failure.’ He added that there were indications it was a system that was ‘doomed to fail.’ However, he also claimed that there was no evidence of a conspiracy, corruption or a cover-up.
Dr Scally said he believes that all the documents he needed were given to him, despite original difficulties. He also suggested that he needed Minister Harris’s help to secure some documents.
The Scally Report revealed that 60 people attended a support meeting in Cork, 130 in Dublin and 67 in Galway following the controversy.
More than 200 women were not told about an audit showing their smear results had been read incorrectly.
Minister Harris said yesterday that he will meet with the women affected and the Opposition to discuss possible next steps.
“Certainly harm was done to women in terms of the non-disclosure and Dr Scally has been very clear on that - that extra harm, extra pain, extra suffering was added to women who already had cervical cancer and in many cases a devastating diagnosis,” he added.