Women in Donegal may have received incorrect smear results

Vicky Phelan

It was claimed that subsequent to her cancer diagnosis and unknown to her a review was carried out of previous smear tests from women who had a cancer diagnosis.

She said her heart goes out to other women who are also victims of misdiagnosis and are now being alerted to an internal report on their medical case.

Ms Phelan (43), from Annacotty, Co Limerick, has terminal cervical cancer after her smear test failed to pick up abnormalities.

Minister Harris and the HSE director general, Tony O'Brien, have agreed that an global peer review of CervicalCheck needs to take place to ensure ongoing confidence in it.

They said in a statement: "The HSE Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) which was established on Friday 27th April 2018 met today on two occasions in order to progress further a full review of 206 cases within the CervicalCheck Programme".

It follows days of uncertainty, over what an unpublished 2014 HSE audit of cervical checks discovered.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer around the same time, but she only found out about that review past year.

She revealed that Simon Harris had called her personally to apologise for the health service letting her down.

Solicitor for Ms Phelan, Cian O'Carroll, told RTÉ's This Week that the defence documents lodged in the court case by the State contradict the terms of the apology issued last week.

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She settled her High Court action against a USA laboratory for €2.5m on Wednesday.

The defence documents filed did admit there was some delay informing her about her smear test results.

Professor Shepherd said in his opinion this delay was "most irregular" and absolutely should not happen.

Some of these women are now dead from cervical cancer.

Approving the €2.5 settlement at the High Court this Wednesday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross described Ms Phelan as the most impressive witness he had ever encountered.

Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer.

The HSE said treating clinicians were informed about these findings and were asked to communicate with their patients directly where clinically appropriate.

"Figures from National Cancer Registry Ireland show that the cervical cancer rate in Ireland has reduced significantly as a direct result of the CervicalCheck programme".

"A cancer diagnosis is one of the most, if not the most, hard experiences a person and their family can deal with".

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