As publicly stated at our Annual Delegate Conference last week 2nd May, the INMO wishes to express its solidarity with Vicky Phelan, her family and all other women who are currently concerned relating to the current controversy regarding cervical smear. We commend Vicky Phelan’s bravery for bringing this matter to the public’s attention, and we offer any support that may be required to Ms Phelan and all others who may have concerns.
Nurses and midwives assist women through the screening process, and indeed, in many instances, perform the procedure. They believe that in no small part they have contributed to the increased uptake by approaching their responsibilities in this regard in both a professional and competent manner.
It is important that women continue to attend for this screening process and avail of all the services made available by the HSE if any concerns arise. For our part, we confirm that our members will provide the compassionate, competent and professional service that they have done heretofore.
The INMO believes that the decision to outsource this service in 2008 should have been more carefully considered. As part of the health service trade union group outsourcing is opposed and when decisions are made based on financial costings undoubtedly patient outcomes are compromised.
The INMO also sought last week that the HSE should, as a matter of priority, issue very clear clinical guidance for nurses and midwives who will need to assure patients attending of the reliability of the testing mechanisms now in place.
The following information was received from the HSE yesterday 9th May, and we would welcome your attention to same.
The HSE also acknowledged the assistance from nurses and midwives to date. Specifically, they state in correspondence to the INMO that: We’re very grateful to have had the support of so many nursing colleagues as part of the response, particularly in working to return calls to the concerned women who have been in touch with us.
Any questions you may have in respect of your role as a nurse/ midwife involved in screening not answered by this HSE information update can be raised by the INMO directly with the HSE on your behalf. Please advise if you require any assistance in this regard.
Thank you for your attention to this note.