Press Release

Minister for Health Publishes Review of Implementation Plan by Dr. Gabriel Scally

The Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has today published a review by Dr Gabriel Scally into the Department of Health’s Implementation Plan.

Dr Scally’s report into CervicalCheck was published in September last year containing a number of recommendations. The Department subsequently published an Implementation Plan on December 11th.Following a request from Minister for Health, Dr Scally has completed an examination into the Department of Health’s implementation plan. His report to the Minister is published today (here).

Dr Scally affirms that the Implementation Plan is a comprehensive response to his report, and that it represents a very substantial body of work for the Department of Health, the HSE and the National Cancer Registry. He is clear that significant effort and resources are being committed to addressing the problems he identified, and that the appropriate resourcing and project management structures are in place. In making his report, Dr Scally and his team have met with representatives from the Department of Health, the HSE and the National Cancer Registry of Ireland to discuss each body’s plans and approach to implementation in detail.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I very much welcome Dr Scally’s report on the Implementation Plan for his recommendations and his independent view that this Plan is a comprehensive response to the Scoping Inquiry report, backed by the necessary effort and resources to address the issues he identified.

“This Government fully accepted Dr Scally’s recommendations, and work is well underway in my Department, as well as in the HSE and the National Cancer Registry, to ensure full implementation so that women can have absolute confidence in our cervical screening service. Screening saves lives and it is essential women continue to use the programme.

“Patients and service users must continue to have an important role in the implementation plan. I have appointed two patient advocates to the board of the HSE, in line with Dr Scally’s recommendation. It is imperative the patient’s voice continues to be at the centre of everything the health service does.”

The Minister has asked Dr Scally to conduct a further progress review during the second quarter of 2019.


Notes to the Editor

In December 2018, the Minister published the Implementation Plan for the recommendations of the report of Dr Gabriel Scally’s Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, following a Government decision. The Plan was developed under the auspices of the CervicalCheck Steering Committee, chaired by the Department of Health, and its publication marked a key step in the delivery of the changes recommended by Dr Scally. It underpins the work required to ensure that the issues which have arisen in relation to open disclosure, governance and management and other key areas are fully addressed.

The Minister requested Dr Scally to undertake an independent review of the Plan. On 30 November 2018, Dr Scally wrote to the Minister and provided an initial positive assessment of the Plan. He also stated that he and his team would continue to meet with representatives from the Department of Health, the HSE and the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, to develop greater understanding of the actions, with the intention of providing the Minister with the more detailed analysis now published.