CervicalCheck scandal: Disciplinary review team to interview staff

Panel to weigh potential disciplinary action and file recommendations to personnel chief

October 7th, 2018: Emma Mhic Mhathúna, one of the women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy, has died at the age of 37. Interview Sorcha Pollak, video: Bryan O'Brien

 

A review team commissioned by the Health Service Executive to determine if staff should face disciplinary action over the cervical screening controversy will be permitted to interview and seek clinical advice.

Terms of reference note that while the review is intended to centre on an examination of documentation, the team can interview HSE staff and others who are not employees if considered necessary.

Without any challenges, it is expected that the scoping exercise should take four months to complete

Following publication of the Scally report the HSE approved the establishment of a preliminary scoping exercise. Its objective is “to determine whether there are people who have a case to answer” under the health authority’s disciplinary code.

The HSE said the review is being conducted by an external team with expertise in employment law. “Without any challenges, it is expected that the scoping exercise should take four months to complete,” it said.

What are the consequences?

The terms of reference say the independent panel will review documentation provided by the HSE to the Scally inquiry . In addition, it will have powers to seek other material from the Health Service Executive or from any other person if it considers that this would be of assistance in its work.

The reviewers can also request written clarification from the HSE on any matter pertaining to the process. And they can obtain any clinical input, expertise and/or advice if they believe this would be of assistance.

The panel will, once finished its inquiry, tell the HSE’s national director of human resources of its findings. This officer will then “arrange for any disciplinary case to answer to be dealt by the appropriate member of senior management in accordance with the provisions of the relevant disciplinary procedure”.