Updated: 08/05/18 : 05:03:35
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Sligo health boss role in probe on cervical cancer

SLIGO HEALTH honcho Damien McCallion is facing into his biggest career challenge today, Tuesday.

The Cabinet is expected at Tuesday’s meeting to finalise terms of reference for the scoping exercise which will examine the cervical cancer screening shambles.

McCallion will then head the exercise after being drafted in to oversee Cervical Check in the short term.

Already, he has cautioned that the service may not be able to call back all women who have phoned the emergency Cervical Check helpline until the weekend.

Ambulance Chief

Currently, McCallion is National director for the HSE’s emergency management.

That role included the winterlong crux on trolleys for waiting patients in accident and accident units around the country.

Previous roles held by McCallion include budget holder at Sligo University Hospital and national director of the national ambulance service.

The latter role elevated him to the senior HSE’s national management team.

Two Weeks

Later today, the terms of reference for the scoping exercise on Cervical Check seem likely to be agreed.....two weeks after the crisis first became public.

They will focus on the adequacy, or otherwise, of the State’s oversight of outsourced lab tests. 

The Irish Examiner this morning, Tuesday, hints the the terms of reference for the scoping review will:-

  • Be led by a UK-based oncologist — to be appointed today;
  • Examine the tendering, contracting and operation of the outsourced US labs;
  • Establish why at least 209 women who were given incorrect smear test all-clears were not told what happened;
  • Uncover what Cervical Check, HSE, the State Claims Agency and Department of Health managers knew about the scandal;
  • Meet with cervical cancer victim Vicky Phelan and “any other woman affected” as a matter of urgency.

The scoping review memo will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting today which will be dominated by the cervical cancer tests scandal, says the newspaper.

Care Errors

The scale of any potential redress scheme and new mandatory open disclosure laws for medics, is the Cabinet radar too.

Mandatory reporting for medics would compel them to tell patients about all care errors, will also be discussed.