MKF Reacts to the Scally CervicalCheck Review

Marie Keating Foundation welcomes Dr Scally’s CervicalCheck review as a way to “improve the screening service and lead to a better health system for women in Ireland”

CEO Liz Yeates, describes the results of the audit as disturbing and shocking

The Marie Keating Foundation welcomes Dr Gabriel Scally’s thorough and comprehensive review into the CervicalCheck debacle.

Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation welcomes “in particular Dr Scally’s focus on 50 key recommendations to be implemented, which will lead to an improved screening service and drastic reductions in cervical cancer cases as well as a better health system for women in Ireland.”

Dr Scally’s detailed review into the full range of issues that have impinged on the screening programme over the past 5 months has placed him in an excellent position to review the system as a whole and to identify the important changes that are needed in order to rehaul and renew CervicalCheck as well as our other screening services.

“What was so heartening to us, is Dr Scally’s deep and sincere commitment to the women and families affected by this controversy and his passion to see this work make real changes in the system. The revelations in his report of the way women were told of their diagnosis and the results of the audit review, are both disturbing and shocking, highlighting that the current policy and practice in relation to open disclosure is deeply contradictory and unsatisfactory” Liz Yeates.

She continues, “there was a general sense from Dr Scally’s meetings with the women and families that they felt badly let down by the State. One of Dr Scally’s recommendation that is to be welcomed is that two patient representatives are to be included on the new HSE Board. It is only when patients have a direct say in how the health system works that we will see real changes in the culture of a health system which has been shown to be deeply flawed.”

The Marie Keating Foundation together with the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Patient Association is now working to put structured supports in place to help in a very tangible and practical manner, the 221 women and their families in facing the difficulties arising from these complex and distressing events.

Commenting on the next steps needed, Liz Yeates said “we will be listening to these patients very closely to hear specifically what supports they need to be put in place. We will also be working with the other stakeholders to work towards a timely implementation of Dr Scally’s 50 recommendations”.