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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie File photo - Stephen Teap
# Cervical Cancer
Stephen Teap hits out at 'politicians who failed to listen' as he settles HSE CervicalCheck case
Irene Teap, a 35-year-old mother of two young boys, died of cancer in July 2017.

LAST UPDATE | Dec 8th 2022, 5:04 PM

THE HUSBAND OF a woman who died of cervical cancer has reached a settlement with the HSE and two laboratories involved in the CervicalCheck screening programme.

Irene Teap, a 35-year-old mother of two young boys, died of cancer in July 2017, 10 months before the CervicalCheck scandal broke. She was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015 and – despite treatment – the disease spread to her liver and lungs.

She was included in an audit of smear tests results by the HSE as she had smear tests in 2010 and 2013, neither resulting in follow-up appointments. The CervicalCheck audit found that there were abnormalities in both of those slides.

Irene and Stephen Teap were not told that this audit – which took place and concluded while she was still alive – was happening. It was 10 months after he lost his wife that Teap was told she was one of the women impacted by the scandal.

Stephen Teap has today reached a settlement with the HSE and two laboratories involved in the CervicalCheck screening programme.

Speaking outside the court this afternoon, Teap said: “Today, we received a full admission of liability from the labs CPL and MedLab that they did, indeed, misread Irene’s slides, and in doing so delayed her cervical cancer diagnosis, which caused her death.

“A properly run and well-funded screening programme is the least the women and families of Ireland deserve. Over the years, it has saved hundreds and thousands of lives in Ireland, but it hasn’t saved some,” he said.

Teap added that the “blood of my wife” is on the Government’s hands.

“The blood of my wife, and the incredible friends I’ve made who have passed away, is on the Government’s hands, and those politicans who failed to listen,” Teap said.

“Oscar, Noah and my world ended when Irene’s life ended,” he said.

“We now start our next chapter and focus on repairing the damage done. Maybe the Government should now look at doing the same.”

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said: ”I’m conscious as I speak that today is a very difficult say for Stephen Teap, who’s just agreed a settlement in relation to the labs and the HSE and is a person who never stopped battling on behalf of his wife Irene.”

In a statement the HSE apologised to the Teap family and ackownledged their failure.

“We fully apologise to Stephen, Oscar and Noah Teap, and their wider family, for the pain they have suffered at the loss of Stephen’s wife Irene.

“We acknowledge our failure to communicate with Irene and subsequently with Stephen, in a timely and appropriate way, the results of the audit that indicated a change in the interpretation of Irene’s smear test results. For this we are also very sorry.

“We deeply regret that this and so many other cases have taken so long to be resolved. We hope that Stephen and his family finds some solace with the resolution and conclusion of this process.

“We are grateful that despite having been let down by the HSE, Stephen has continued to use his voice to raise awareness of cervical screening in Ireland.

“We appreciate that an apology will not in any way change the distress Stephen and his family have suffered but it is made with sincere regret,” the statement said.