Cervical Check campaigners have called for greater accountability across the health service – with sanctions for doctors who fail to disclose information to patients.
Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh were presented with awards for their work on women's healthcare at the Labour Party conference this afternoon.
During a discussion on the CervicalCheck scandal Mr Teap, who lost his wife Irene to cervical cancer last year, noted that the medical profession’s failure to inform his family about his wife’s condition was the “most painful thing” about the saga.
Ms Phelan said any medical professional who fails to disclose information to patients should face sanctions moving forward.
“Half the problem was that the policy at the time was voluntary open disclosure,” she said.
“Obviously a lot of the medical professionals – particularly in terms of the CervicalCheck women – decided for themselves who needed to be told and who didn’t.
“Those decisions should not be left up to individuals – there is a policy there it should be adhered to,” she said.
“That is why we are really adamant about making sure that this mandatory disclosure policy is implemented to the nth degree and that there are sanctions on individual health practitioners.”
All three called for a clear system of accountability for any doctor dealing with a sensitive case – with Ms Phelan calling for that level of accountability to be extended to the rest of the public sector.