‘You have been failed’: Taoiseach apologises to terminally ill woman after incorrect smear

‘You Have Been Failed’: Taoiseach Apologises To Terminally Ill Woman After Incorrect Smear
Micheál Martin issued the apology to Patricia Carrick on behalf of the State in the Dáil today.
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By Digital Desk Staff

The Taoiseach has made a formal apology to a woman ill with terminal cancer who did not receive timely treatment for her illness due to a “negligent” smear test result.

Micheál Martin issued the apology to Patricia Carrick on behalf of the State in the Dáil today, as she was one of the women impacted by the CervicalCheck controversy and received an incorrect smear result for cervical cancer according to the Irish Examiner.

Mr Martin said Ms Carrick was "badly let down and your family is going through the very worst of times because of the mistakes of others."

"On behalf of the Government and on behalf of the nation, I offer my genuine and heartfelt apologies to Trish, to Damien and to their son Ciarán, to their daughters Ríoghna and Sorcha, and to Eoin,” he said.


“You have been failed,” he added.

The cancer was missed, the cancer spread and the cancer is now terminal.

“Two months ago, in September 2020, Trish and Damien were told that the cancer is terminal.

“It didn't have to be this way. In May 2016 Trish went for a scheduled smear test - a health procedure Trish took very seriously and never missed.

“If there had been an accurate reading of this sample, Trish’s cancer would have been identified in good time and the appropriate treatment given.”

“But there wasn't an accurate reading. Instead, the HSE and Medlab Pathology Ltd have now acknowledged that the sample of 31st of May 2016 was read in a manner that was negligent.

“The cancer was missed, the cancer spread and the cancer is now terminal.”

“Last Friday, I spoke to Damien and apologised. On that call, he said he, Trish and the family would appreciate it if I would apologise in public.

“I have absolutely no hesitation in doing so,” Mr Martin said.

Court case

The 51-year-old mother-of-four sued after she discovered CervicalCheck had misread a scan in 2016.

Her cancer was not eventually diagnosed until July 2019, by which time it was too late for treatment.

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Last month, Ms Carrick won an unprecedented apology and an admission of negligence from the HSE and from the laboratory which missed her cancer.

She was previously not entitled to the same care package as the 221+ group of CervicalCheck survivors identified in an audit process that stopped in mid-2018.

Her cancer diagnosis not only happened after this date, but it did not feature in a subsequent review of cases.

Ms Carrick had been too ill to attend last month’s court victory, which saw her awarded €2.75 million.

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