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Cervical Check, December 2018 News Archive

Last updated 11 December 2018

Women in Ireland have been understandably worried following the serious failings in the CervicalCheck audit. The HSE wants to acknowledge this breach of trust and to urge women in Ireland to continue to take part in cervical screening, which is a life-saving public health measure.

For information about the CervicalCheck audit, and advice for anyone concerned, visit cervicalcheck.ie.

Despite the failings in communication during the CervicalCheck audit, the cervical screening programme is safe and effective. We urge all women to routinely avail of routine smear checks to protect their health.

Implementation Plan for Scally Recommendations

The HSE has welcomed the publication of the Implementation Plan for the Scoping Inquiry by Dr Gabriel Scally.

The plan sets out how all 56 of Dr Scally's recommendations will be put in place.

It was published on 11 December 2018.

You can read the Implementation Plan for the Scoping Inquiry on the Department of Health’s website.


A Scoping Inquiry into Cervical Check was undertaken by Dr Gabriel Scally. His report was published in September 2018.

It contained 50 recommendations and 6 interim recommendations.

In response, the HSE established an Implementation Oversight Group. The group worked with the Department of Health and other relevant organisations.

The aim was to develop a plan for putting in place all 56 recommendations.

Governance of Implementation Oversight Group

The HSE has responsibility for implementing 31 of the 56 recommendations.

Along with the Department of Health, we have responsibility for 9 further recommendations.

The Department of Health has had lead responsibility for drafting the Implementation Plan. This is part of its remit as a member of the Cervical Check Steering Committee.

The HSE and the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) have also helped develop the plan. They have worked on it along with patient representatives.

HSE Recommendations

We are working with the teams responsible for each recommendation. This is so we can devise detailed action plans for each recommendation.

Each set of actions has a detailed action plan. This includes timelines for starting and completing each recommendation.

This plan is iterative. This means it will be reviewed and improved at each stage. So actions will change as the plan progresses. It is likely the number of actions will grow.

We have 86 actions to put in place. We have assigned or jointly assigned senior staff for each recommendation.

Some of these actions are directly related to the:

  • National Screening Service
  • CervicalCheck programme
  • wider Health Service

More than 70% of the actions will have begun being implemented before the end of 2018.

Patients Voice

We are committed to keeping patients and service users at the centre of this process. We have been communicating with patient representatives throughout the development of this plan.

Engagement structures are already in place for implementing Dr Scally’s interim recommendations. We are now building on these. These include the public patient involvement (PPI).

Progress to date

There are 86 actions assigned to the HSE. More than 70% of these will have started by the end of 2018.

We have 86 actions to put in place. We have assigned or jointly assigned senior staff for each recommendation.

The HSE has appointed an implementation lead for this project.

Our plan includes working to key milestones and deadlines.

We will publish interim updates on the status of actions within our remit on www.hse.ie

Members of the HSE Implementation Oversight Group

Anne O’Connor - Deputy Director General, Chief Operations Officer
Dr Colm Henry - Chief Clinical Officer

Damien McCallion - National Director, National Screening Service
John Swords - Head of Procurement
Michele Tait - HSE Implementation Lead
Stephen Horan - Implementation Plan PMO HSE
David Walsh - Interim National Director, Community Operations
Paul Connors - National Director of Communications
Dr Kevin Kelleher, National Director of Public Health.
Liam Woods, National Director of Acute Hospitals
Dr Peter McKenna, Clinical Lead Women & Infants Health Programme HSE & Interim Clinical Lead Cervical Check Programme

Independent Review

An independent Expert Panel Review has been set up by the Minister for Health. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) will lead this review panel of UK experts. The British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology will also provide input. The review will take at least 6 months to complete. You can read more about the purpose of the review and the consent process here.

A CervicalCheck Steering Committee has also been set up by the Department of Health. Weekly reports from the CervicalCheck Steering Committee are available here

Throughout May, we published a CervicalCheck Daily Report. We did this so that we could provide you with a progress update on the response to this situation. You can view those daily reports on this page.

Information for women concerned about CervicalCheck

Daily updates from the HSE Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT)

Information for healthcare professionals

Press releases