HSE told cancer sufferer Ruth Morrissey to source her own counselling, court hears

By Tim Healy

Article Date : February 14 2019 05:33 PM

Source : independent.ie

Seriously ill: Ruth Morrissey has sued the HSE and two US laboratories. Photo: Collins Courts

A woman terminally ill with cervical cancer was told to source her own counselling when she sought support from the HSE, the High Court heard.

At one stage, Ruth Morrissey, who is suing over the alleged misreading of her smear slides which were taken under the CervicalCheck screening programme,  was “very low” but was told to source her own psychotherapy and furnish the receipts, the court was told.

Specialist care consultant Noreen Roche  thought  it was  “appalling” that somebody such as the 37-year old mother, who has a maximum of two years to live, still had to source  her own psychotherapy or psychological support.

Ms Roche was giving evidence in the continuing action by Ms Morrissey who is suing the HSE and two US laboratories over the alleged misreading of her cervical smears  in 2009 and 2012.

Ms Roche said the original plan was to put in support for the women but to date no such support has been put  in place.

“They are told to source their own counselling and furnish the receipts,” she said.

She added: “I think it is appalling for  somebody in Ruth Morrissey’s condition that she still had to source psychotherapy or psychological counselling .

“Number one, she has no energy or the knowledge.”

She told the court she would have hoped the HSE would have sourced the appropriate person to provide counselling and psychotherapy.

“These women are left to their own devices to source all the support,” Ms Roche said.

She said Ms Morrissey presents as a serene woman who considers herself mentally strong.

Ms Roche  said Ms Morrissey is consumed with guilt that she can’t do normal activities with her young daughter.

She has pain in her right leg and she was unsteady on her feet, and needed to use the walls and furniture to help her get around.

Ms Morrissey and her husband Paul Morrissey of Kylemore, Schoolhouse Road, Monaleen, Co Limerick,  have sued the HSE and the US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Ireland Ltd with offices at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin along with Medlab Pathology Ltd with offices at Sandyford Business Park, Dublin 18.

It is claimed there was an alleged failure to correctly report and diagnose and there was an alleged misinterpretation of her  smear samples taken in 2009 and 2012.

A situation, it is claimed, allegedly developed where Ms Morrissey’s cancer spread unidentified, unmonitored and untreated until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in June 2014.

It is further claimed  a review of the 2009 and 2012 smears took place in 2014 and 2015 with the results sent to Ms Morrissey’s treating gynaecologist in 2016, but she was not told  until May 2018 of those review results which showed  her smears were reported incorrectly.

The Morrisseys further contend  if Ms Morrissey had been told the results of the smear test audits in late 2014 or  early 2015, she would have insisted on an  MRI and other scans.

The HSE has admitted it owed a duty of care to Ms Morrissey but not to her husband. The laboratories deny all claims.

The case continues.

Full link view here : https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/hse-told-cancer-sufferer-ruth-morrissey-to-source-her-own-counselling-court-hears-37817487.html