The HSE have been called on to explain whether there were clinical implications for 800 women who did not receive smear test results due to an ‘IT glitch’.
The Irish body apologised on Thursday for the news that 800 women who underwent CervicalCheck screenings were not issued with their results.
Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly said the HSE must also explain “why it did not inform the Department of Health there was a problem with the issuing of 800 CervicalCheck screening results to women”.
The department said last night that the HSE advised it on Wednesday that it became aware of the problem in June.
The HSE said: “The existence of an IT issue was identified following engagement with the Department of Health in relation to representations from a woman using our services.”
The HSE, which described the cock-up as “a limited incident”, said the problem involved a Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Chantilly, Virginia, where the IT system needed an “update” in order for it to transmit results to CervicalCheck’s screening register.
The HSE said once results are transferred to the register, the woman’s GP receives electronic notification and the woman in turn is notified by letter.
Because the “update” was overlooked, the test results did not issue to GPs.
Frances McNamara, head of the National Screening Service, said they had written to women on July 1 advising them to contact their GPs. The HSE said some GPs and practice nurses “have also reported in recent days that they have not received result reports.”
Lorraine Walsh, a patient representative on the CervicalCheck steering committee, said she was “seriously beginning to doubt the whole system.”