Breaking: Bravery of Kilkenny's Vicky Phelan praised in Scally Report

Report into Cervical Check scandal published today

Sian Moloughney


Sian Moloughney

Vicky Phelan: extraordinary determination praised in Scally Report

Vicky Phelan: extraordinary determination praised in Scally Report

Kilkenny's Vicky Phelan has been praised by the author of the report into the Cervical Check scandal.

Dr Gabriel Scally, who carried out the scoping inquiry on behalf of the government, published his report this morning.

In the first paragraph of his report Dr Scally praises the "extraordinary determination of Vicky
Phelan not be silenced."

Vicky's refusal to sign a non-disclosure agreement in her own legal action brought the scandal to light.

Women affects, and relatives of those who are deceased, spoke to Dr Scally as part of his work, in person, groups and via email and telephone. He says: "It also must be noted that at each of the group gatherings, and in many of the other
meetings and communications, warm tributes were paid to Vicky Phelan and her
courage in challenging the system: in particular, her unwillingness to be silenced by a
confidentiality agreement."

Dr Scally's report is damning. he says: "There are many indications that this was a system that was
doomed to fail at some point.

"It is apparent that there are serious gaps in the governance structures of the screening
services. In the specific case of CervicalCheck, there was a demonstrable deficit of clear
governance and reporting lines between it, the National Screening Service and the higher
management structures of the HSE. This confusion complicated the reporting of issues and
multiplied the risks. It is clear that there are also serious gaps in the range of expertise of
professional and managerial staff directly engaged in the operation of CervicalCheck. There
are, in addition, substantial weaknesses, indeed absences, of proper professional advisory
structures. "

Meanwhile Vicky Phelan is currently receiving ground-breaking immunotherapy treatment for her cancer.

The full report can be read HERE.