Saturday 14 December 2019

Patient representative Lorraine Walsh resigns from CervicalCheck steering committee

Lorraine Walsh
Lorraine Walsh
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Cervical cancer survivor Lorraine Walsh has resigned from the steering committee set up to oversee changes in CervicalCheck.

Ms Walsh - who developed cervical cancer - was one of 221 women whose smear tests were read incorrectly.

She had been a patient representative on the steering committee.

Ms Walsh announced her resignation when speaking on RTÉ PrimeTime tonight.

The findings of a review of 1,034 women's slides, some of whom are deceased, was carried out by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK, and was released earlier today.

"I wish I could sit here tonight and tell the women of Ireland that I have confidence it that report. I don't want to be sitting here tonight and telling the women of Ireland that I don't have confidence in that report, but I absolutely don't," Ms Walsh told PrimeTime.

"The revelations of the last number of months have forced me to examine my own conscience and when I got to a stage when I couldn't sleep at night I had to resign and I had to leave the Cervical Check Steering Committee as the Patient Representative on it with Stephen Teap.

"So much has come out over the last number of months but we learned a number of months ago that information coming through fro RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) to the HSE was inaccurate.

"So much so that the reports were delayed going back to women. Reports had to be returned to RCOG because of consistencies and inaccuracies in the reports, even as late as early October, of 581 reports half of them had to be returned because the detail in them was inaccurate.

"I had brought that information to the Cervical Check Steering Committee. I brought my concerns to them. I spoke to the Minister for Health about my concerns and I felt that I got to a stage that people weren't listening to my concerns so I could do no other thing but resign."

More to follow...

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