€2.5m settlement for terminally-ill woman whose cancer was missed

Cancer patient settlement €2.5M by High Court

Vicky Phelan, with her husband Jim, was awarded €2.5m from the High Court after she sued the HSE and a lab in the USA for failing to tell her the correct diagnosis of a smear test in 2011.

Minister Harris announced on Friday that he had sent in a senior squad to review CervicalCheck and to undertake an investigation.

In January of this year, she was told her cancer was terminal and was given six to 12 months to live. Mr Justice Kevin Cross portrayed Ms Phelan as the most great witness he had ever experienced.

He also praised both sides in the case for the speed with which the case was handled.

In her High Court activity, which started a week ago, her legal advisors said if the cancerous cells had been recognized in 2011 she would have had a straightforward strategy and would have a 90% shot of survival.

HSE clinical teams began to review files in cancer units nationwide yesterday.

At the beginning of today the court was told the case had now settled and the argument against the HSE could be hit out with no request.

Ms Phelan was awarded €2.5 million in a settlement against the USA lab during the week, over a false negative smear test in 2011.

Ms Phelan settled a case against a USA lab on Wednesday, after being wrongly informed in 2011 that she had the all clear.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and the Tanaiste, Simon Coveney, have apologised to Ms Phelan and her family.

Ms Phelan underwent a smear test in 2011 and was told that no abnormalities were found.

She told the HSE of her intention to resign saying she was sorry that recent events caused distress and worry to women.

It was asserted that ensuing to her cancer finding and obscure to her an audit was completed of past spread tests from ladies who had a cancer determination.

This comes as Vicky Phelan claimed that three Irish women whose smear test results had to be audited have died. "This will further reduce the risk of cervical cancer and improve identification of the risk of cervical cell abnormalities", the charity said.

"A cancer diagnosis is one of the most, if not the most, hard experiences a person and their family can deal with".

"Figures from National Cancer Registry Ireland show that the cervical cancer rate in Ireland has reduced significantly as a direct result of the CervicalCheck programme".

The HSE said it wished to acknowledge Professor Flannelly and to formally thank her for "the enormous dedication, contribution and expert knowledge" that she brought to the CervicalCheck Programme over the past 12 years.

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