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Cervical Check Update

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By Niamh McKeever


Published 28 March 2023


Dr Gabriel Scally was originally tasked with investigating the Cervical Check controversy which followed the case of Vicky Phelan in 2018. To recap, the controversy emerged when it became known that hundreds of women diagnosed with cervical cancer were not told about an audit of past smear tests and had they been made aware of the results of the audit they may have been able to obtain earlier interventions with better outcomes.

Dr Scally provided his final report in November 2022 which covered a review of what recommendations were implemented from his earlier reports.

Dr Scally concluded that there was still some work to be done particularly in creating a policy of open disclosure in the healthcare system. He described open disclosure as a process “in the making “. He urged a change in the approach to the duty of candour and that doctors must be honest with their patients. Dr Scally said the Patient Safety Bill is only a first step and needs to be expanded and was critical of the watering down of legislation from a mandatory disclosure to a voluntary disclosure.

Below are some cases that arose from the ongoing CervicalCheck litigation.