Leo Varadkar to offer State apology over CervicalCheck failures today 7 months ago

Leo Varadkar to offer State apology over CervicalCheck failures today

He will address the Dáil this afternoon.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will offer a State apology to those affected by the CervicalCheck failures today.

The State screening programme was mired in controversy last year when it was reported that over 220 women had received false negative results.

Further IT related issues led to thousands of patients and families being affected by the scandal. Multiple women who received false negative results have since passed away.

Taoiseach Varadkar will address the Dáil this afternoon to offer an apology on behalf of the State.

CervicalCheck patient support group 221+ have said that today's address will be significant.

Campaigners Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap, and Lorraine Walsh have been invited to the Dáil chamber to hear the Taoiseach's address.

Earlier this year following a meeting with Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris, the group said they discussed how a formal apology to those affected by the controversy might be tackled.

"A full apology is only possible with a full understanding of what one was and is responsible for," they said.

"Today’s meeting is the beginning of a new dialogue which is now more properly and fully informed in that regard by the work of people like Dr. Gabriel Scally and, more recently, Prof Brian MacCraith which uncovered the shortcomings that led to this catastrophic systems failure.

"Our objective for an apology is that it begins a healing process for all those impacted negatively by CervicalCheck."

An independent review into CervicalCheck's faults earlier this year urged that the service adopt a 'Women First' approach. 

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

Varadkar will address the Dáil today at 3pm.

You can watch the address live here.