CervicalCheck urged to adopt 'Women First' approach following failings, says report 1 year ago

CervicalCheck urged to adopt 'Women First' approach following failings, says report

"As a matter of priority."

CervicalCheck have been urged to adopt a 'Women First' approach following the multiple failings of the screening service.


A new report published today has detailed the extent of the programme's faults, including the recent IT issue which led to 3,000 more women being affected by the controversy.

The independent Rapid Review report, carried out by Professor Brian McCraith, found that the HSE underestimated the scale of the CervicalCheck controversy and there is "an absence of clear lines of authority and clarity of role responsibilities within CC."

The report, obtained by RTÉ, provided the HSE with nine recommendations, including adopting a 'Women First' approach to the screening service.

"A strengthened CC needs to adopt a ‘Women First’ approach as a matter of priority," the report reads.

"This initiative will have a primary focus on the continuous flow of information to women, customer relationship management and trust-building measures.

"The feasibility of sample tracking at every stage of the process from woman to result should be pursued actively. Human resource needs to be dedicated solely to this ‘Women First’ approach."

The report also suggests that the HSE "move quickly" to make the system a "well-structured, strongly-led organisation with good management practice and an active culture of risk management."


Other recommendations include making recruitment a priority, moving towards the creation of a National Laboratory for Cervical Testing, and hiring a Quest dedicated project manager for Ireland - a position which is currently empty.

The report also found that CervicalCheck relies almost solely on an outsourced laboratory, and engagement between patient representatives and the HSE has overall been "not good."

Earlier today, the report detailed that significantly more patients (over 3,000) had been identified as part of the IT problem that initially saw hundreds of women not receive their results.

Around 850 cases saw results not delivered to women or, in some instances, not delivered to their GPs.

The remaining 2,150 patients had results issued to their GPs but not to them directly.


Last month, the HSE issued an apology to the women affected by the IT issue. Out of the 800 initially thought to be affected by the problem, 52 had since tested positive for HPV.

You can find the rest of the report's recommendations here.