You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

More than 40 staff vacancies at BreastCheck

By Dermot - 05th Aug 2020 | 6 views

There were over 40 vacancies at BreastCheck as of the end of June, according to figures released to the Medical Independent.

The 41.5 whole-time equivalent vacancies included eight medical posts, two nursing posts, 16.88 health and social care posts, 11 in management/administration, and 3.6 other support staff roles.

The total complement of staff for BreastCheck is around 250 and the vacancy rate (approx 16.6 per cent) is largely consistent with previous years, according to a HSE spokesperson.

“The most difficult roles to fill are radiographers and radiologists,” they added. “There are well-documented shortages of consultants available to apply for these posts. There are shortages of radiographers both nationally and internationally.”

At a HSE board meeting in March, legal action pertaining to cancer screening was discussed and the board agreed that “the greatest risk going forward relates to breast screening”.

According to minutes, this determination was “based on the nature of the test, existing recruitment challenges, impact of the recent High Court case on clinical staff, forthcoming recommendations from the expert group and the impact of this judgment”.

The meeting had discussed the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Mrs Ruth Morrissey, who has since died from cervical cancer, in regard to CervicalCheck.

Board member Prof Deirdre Madden expressed the view that the implications of the judgment for other screening programmes, particularly BreastCheck, “could also be very significant because the potential application of the principle of ‘absolute confidence’ to mammography would cause a lot of anxiety to those working in the breast screening programme, as well as financial exposure if cases were to proceed along similar lines.”

However, the minutes showed that State Claims Agency Director Mr Ciaran Breen told the board the Supreme Court judgment confirmed that the prior High Court ruling was “not to be interpreted as introducing a new test in clinical negligence cases”.

The HSE’s spokesperson said the discussion referred to the potential impact of the Supreme Court judgment on other screening programmes.
The spokesperson said the nature of mammography was that it relied on the human eye.

“It is neither 100 per cent sensitive nor specific. The test fails to diagnose approximately two per 1,000 abnormalities, according to international literature.”

They said BreastCheck is accredited by the European Reference Organisation for Quality Assured Breast Screening and Diagnostic Services (EUREF) and operates with “strict quality guidelines based on international best practice”.

BreastCheck is not expected to resume until autumn, as preparations continue to ensure physical distancing requirements will be met amid Covid-19.

Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]