Tuesday 19 March 2019

Consultant 'forgot' to tell patient about audit

Ruth and Paul Morrissey, pictured at the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts
Ruth and Paul Morrissey, pictured at the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

Dean Gray

A consultant who did not inform a woman for nearly two years of the audit results of her smear slides, which showed they had been incorrectly reported as negative, has told the High Court he forgot to do so.

Consultant obstetrician Dr Matthew Hewitt said when he met the now terminally ill Ruth Morrissey (37) in July 2016, soon after getting the information in a letter from CervicalCheck on the audit results, he forgot about the letter filed in the patient's notes.

"I did not turn back the notes to see the letter to remind me," he said.

Ms Morrissey's counsel Jeremy Maher put it to Dr Hewitt that if she had been told about the audit results in 2016, Ms Morrissey would have got a scan and treatment and in all probability, would now be facing life rather than death.

Dr Hewitt disagreed, and said: "I don't believe the cancer would have been necessarily visible or present."

Earlier, Ms Morrissey broke down as she told the court she put her trust in her consultant to monitor her after she had surgery to remove her first bout of cervical cancer.

Ms Morrissey and husband Paul Morrissey, of Kylemore, Schoolhouse Road, Monaleen, Co Limerick, have sued the HSE and the US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Ireland and Medlab Pathology Ltd.

The HSE has admitted it owed a duty of care to Ms Morrissey, while the laboratories deny all claims.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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