The terminally ill mother says delays to the inquiry are undermining confidence in the programme

The woman who brought the Cervical Check Scandal to public attention is worried there are going to be more victims. 

Vicky Phelan thinks an independent review of thousands of smear test results is going to find even more patients who were given incorrect readings.

The 43-year-old, who is terminally ill, settled a case against a US lab for €2.5m after being wrongly informed that she had the all clear in 2011.

Three years later, an audit found that the results were incorrect. She was only told about the review in September of last year.

Yesterday it was revealed that 12 more cases have now been uncovered, bringing the number of women affected to 221.

It also emerged that an independent review of more than 3,000 smear tests that was due to be completed at the end of May has yet to begin.

Vicky Phelan is presented with an honorary doctorate from University of Limerick

"My worry is that we are going to see that there is going to be more women women who were not included in the original sample," said Ms Phelan. 

She warned that the delays have only served to undermine confidence in the screening programme even further.

“All of these delays mean that people are starting to wonder – myself included – what are they trying to cover up at this stage that they can’t seem to meet these deadlines and everything seems to be pushed back out?”

“Everything is being put through lawyers.

“They have a whole legal team in there looking at everything before they will pass it on to [Dr Gabriel Scally], before they will pass on the files to the women who are looking for them to take their court cases.

“Everything is heavily redacted that Gabriel is getting.

“What are they trying to hide at this stage? That is my question.”

Dr Gabriel Scally

In the past hour, Dr Scally released a statement noting that “As of today, it appears we now have access to documentation being provided to us by the HSE in a searchable format and with all redactions, apart from those relating to patient confidentiality, removed.”

He said it was a welcome development – but warned that his team are still checking the documentation to ensure it is complete.