PEOPLE WHO WERE AWARE OF EMERGING HEALTH SCANDAL
This is a list of HSE executives who were aware of the controversial Cervical Check audit from as far back as 2016. This week, the scally Report confirmed that nobody in the Department of health knew anything about the systematic nondisclosure of missed smear tests before April 2018. however, as the Mos has previously reported, a number of senior Hse executives were aware of issues throughout 2016 and 2017. Time and again the issue was not escalated, or properly investigated, and the scandal was allowed to fester.
Dr Gráinne Flannelly
Clinical Director of CervicalCheck
What she knew: In July 2016, Dr Flannelly receives correspondence from Dr Kevin Hickey saying he believes CervicalCheck should contact the women identified in the audit as having false positive tests. Correspondence between the two goes back and forth for 14 months, disputing who should notify the women, and how many women should be notified. Where is she now?: Resigned from her post when the controversy broke in April of this year.
Director General of the HSE [former]
What he knew: The HSE, of which he was the head, wrote six memos regarding the controversial audit, none of which raised the issue of ‘open disclosure’ to the women affected, meaning the Department of Health could not be properly apprised.
Where is he now?: Stepped down early in May following the emergence of three of the 2016 memos. However, he continued to be paid by the HSE until his contract ended at the end of July.
Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe
HSE’s National Director, Health and Wellbeing
What she knew: The March 2016 memo, containing the need to prepare a reactive communication response for a media headline saying ‘screening did not diagnose my cancer’ was prepared on her behalf. The two July memos relating explicitly to the audit results and the process of contacting the clinicians of the women affected by a misdiagnosis.
Where is she now?: No change.
Programme Manager at CervicalCheck What he knew: Wrote one of the July 2016 memos on behalf of Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe which detailed the audit results and that the process of contacting the affected women’s clinicians had begun. John Gleeson is copied on a letter in mid-2016 which says that women who have died, need not be notified. He is also aware of most correspondence between Flannelly and Dr Hickey, over who should inform the women. Where is he now?: No change.
Dr Colm Henry
National Clinical Advisor and Programme Lead for Acute Hospitals in the HSE at the time of controversy
What he knew: Learned about the audit and its findings in July 2017, and issues with Open Disclosure for women affected. Where is he now?: Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE.
HSE National Director of Quality Assurance and Verification
What he knew: Became aware of the controversial audit in February 2016. When the scandal broke this year, he initially headed up Minister Simon Harris’s CervicalCheck crisis management team. In May this year, he elected to go on holiday rather than appear before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to answer questions about the controversy. Where is he now?: No change.
Head of Operations, HSE’s National Screening Service
What he knew: Was aware of the audit in March 2016 having attended the meeting between the Department of Health, National Cancer Control Programme and the National Screening Service where the audit was discussed. He also prepared the April memo on behalf of Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe. Where is he now?: No change.
Head of National Screening Service Health and Wellbeing Division
What she knew: Wrote the March briefing note on behalf of Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe.
Where is she now?: Left the HSE in March 2016, the same month that she wrote the memo.
GRÁinne flannelly: Resigned from her post when scandal broke in April