Friday 23 August 2019

HSE sets up review into CervicalCheck crisis - but no mention of woman who unearthed 'glitch'

CervicalCheck stock(David Davies/PA)
CervicalCheck stock(David Davies/PA)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A “rapid review” of the latest CervicalCheck crisis involving delayed screening results for over 800 women will look at “all aspects of the incident,” according the HSE as it published terms of reference today.

The review which is due to report by early August will be chaired by Prof Brian MacCraith of Dublin City University.

It makes no direction mention of speaking to the women involved or specifically the woman whose persistence brought this to light.

The review was set up after it emerged that hundreds of women whose tests were screened for HPV virus at the Quest Diagnostics lab in Chantilly Virginia did not receive their result letters due to a computer glitch.

HSE chief Paul Reid said today : "I have asked Professor Brian MacCraith, to act as independent external chairperson for this review, which I expect to be completed in a short number of weeks.

"Amongst the matters that will be considered will be how the communication process for providing results to women was planned and managed, and how this worked in practice."

Areas to be covered by the review include:

*To determine the complete chronology of events from the time the IT issues first emerged up to the public reporting of these issues on the 11th July 2019.

*To establish the agreed process for the communication of results to women and their GPs, how this was planned and managed and how this process worked in practice.

*To determine the adequacy of the response put in place once these issues emerged and to determine where and what the learning is for the management and communication processes within and from the Screening Programmes.

*To determine if the relevant procedures as set out in the HSE’s Incident Management Framework and Integrated Risk Management policy were followed and implemented.

*To examine the appropriateness of the escalation and if, how and when the communication of the incident within the HSE’s governance structures and between the HSE and the Department of Health, and the relevant Cervical Check committee structures was managed.

*To provide a report to the HSE’s CEO setting out the facts relating to the incident and to make recommendations for any appropriate further actions and future learning.

The HSE said Prof MacCraith will be supported in his work by the HSE’s National Quality Assurance and Verification Team and will have access to any external expert advice he may require during the course of the Review.

Professor MacCraith will carry out his work independently and will provide a report to the HSE’s chief Mr Reid.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris said today he only found out about the problem on Wednesday evening . All of the women and their GPs are now being communicated with, he added.

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