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Scally calls for greater speed on open disclosure reforms

The failure of the HSE to introduce new rules around open disclosure was questioned by Dr Gabriel Scally and patient advocates at the recent National Health Summit in Croke Park.

Ms Angela Tysall, the HSE National Lead in Open Disclosure, Quality Improvement Division, told the summit that the existing rules provided by the HSE around open disclosure were being reviewed following the publication of Dr Scally’s report into the CervicalCheck controversy. Ms Tysall said that the results of this review would be expected to go before the HSE leadership team soon. However, as yet the Executive’s rules around open disclosure had not yet been altered.

Speaking to the Medical Independent (MI) following his address at the health summit, Dr Scally questioned the pace of change of the HSE’s rules on open disclosure following the publication of his final report of the Scoping Inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme. The report was published last September and made a series of recommendations around open disclosure.

However, Dr Scally also said that there had been some progress made on the report’s findings.
“I think we are going to start to see the changes,” he told MI.
“Having said that, I am reviewing the implementation of the recommendations, and they are going well.
“In general, they are going well and that is the way forward. But there is a lot of what I was saying that is about changing the nature of the relationship between doctors and patients. We might get the structures right, but we need to work on the communications — the communications between patients and doctors. That is as important as anything else.”
In his address to the National Health Summit, Dr Scally was highly critical of some of the media coverage of the CervicalCheck controversy.

Last month, the Minister for Health Simon Harris told the Dáil that the “Government accepted all 50 of the recommendations that were set out in Dr Scally’s report into CervicalCheck… I then committed to returning to Government within three months, as recommended by Dr Scally, with a full plan for the implementation of these recommendations.
“That plan was published on 11 December on my Department’s website. Work is now underway in my Department, in the HSE and in the National Cancer Registry of Ireland on the range of actions within the plan.
“The implementation plan sets out 126 actions addressing Dr Scally’s recommendations, across the areas of women and women’s health, organisation and governance, laboratory services and procurement, open disclosure, cancer registration, other screening programmes and resolution.”

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