Simon Harris to organise free repeat smear tests after cervical cancer controversy

Posted April 29, 2018

Overall, just over 200 women with cervical cancer who had smear tests should have received earlier intervention than they did, the HSE noted.

"For Ms Phelan's misdiagnosis to be known for nearly three years is unacceptable", she said.

In July of that year Ms Phelan was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent radical chemo-radiotherapy. She was awarded €2.5m in the High Court this week.

Ms Phelan settled a case against a U.S. lab on Wednesday, after being wrongly informed in 2011 that she had the all clear.

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly said the "emerging story around the misdiagnosis of cervical cancer smear tests and the response from CervicalCheck is completely unacceptable".

It emerged late on Thursday that 206 women were wrongly given the all-clear on smear tests that showed abnormalities and required further testing.

Ms. McElhinney said: "They receive a report that the slides and the smears are clear, when in fact cancer has begun or the abnormalities have begun".

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The CervicalCheck helpline was set up by Harris following concerns about failures in the National Cervical Screening programme.

The aim is to ensure that by early next week the 206 women who developed cancer after getting the wrong test result will be aware of any CervicalCheck reports into their case.

The Clinical Director of CervicalCheck, Dr Gráinne Flannelly has stood down from her position tonight, in the wake of the controversy over smear test results.

"CervicalCheck have identified and have contacted a number of individuals and have notified them that there was incorrect reporting of their original smears".

Ms Phelan spoke movingly of the impact the dramatic revelations of the last week and her powerful speech outside the High Court has had on her family.

Asked if any of the women had died, she said: "This is not information kept by CervicalCheck".

"We have always advocated and campaigned for resources for screening, particularly in relation to cervical screening because it is the best measure we have to avoid cervical cancer, which is a awful cancer, but is one that, if caught early enough, can be managed". "This will further reduce the risk of cervical cancer and improve identification of the risk of cervical cell abnormalities", the charity said.