Friday 18 October 2019

Slides remain missing for up to 30 cervical cancer patients

Stock picture
Stock picture
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Up to 30 women who developed cervical cancer, including relatives of one who is deceased, will receive either no report or only a partial finding from an independent review of their CervicalCheck slides because the originals remain missing, it was confirmed yesterday.

The results of a review of slides from 1,073 women will be released over the next six weeks.

It follows a look back by experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK who were asked by CervicalCheck to examine the slides to see if their findings were the same as the original smear test result or whether abnormalities were missed.

However, the HSE confirmed yesterday that 36 slides from 30 women, including one who has died, are still missing.

The "36 slides could not be retrieved by laboratories in time to meet the June 7 closing date and unfortunately cannot be included", it said.

A spokeswoman said that as a result "those women whose slides are still being sought by the lab will receive a partial report if they have other slides included in the review or no report if the unavailable slide was the only one in the review".

She said the "labs are continuing to search for the slides not yet located and we have been engaging closely with them in this regard".

Another 10 women, who have 29 slides between them, will also lose out on the review because they were sent for independent review by their solicitors and missed the application deadline.

Around 96pc of the 1,700 sides looked at as part of the review were available and reviewed.

Women or next of kin will be told if there was any difference in the results found by the reviewers and what the women were originally told before they went on to develop cervical cancer.

A full report will be available at the end of the month which will give an overview analysis on whether the rate of error in Irish cervical screening is higher than in other similar programmes.

However, it will not give any breakdown of the labs where errors may have been made.

Meanwhile, 140 of the women or next of kin at the centre of last year's non-disclosure CervicalCheck scandal have so far been paid the €20,000 ex-gratia payment.

Around 156 applications out of a possible 221 have been received.

Some women are holding out until they get the review results.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News