A briefing note was prepared for Minister for Health Simon Harris more than a week before a settlement was reached in the Vicky Phelan case.

The note, which was prepared by officials in his department, informed the minister that this was not a "patient safety issue", and that "women were informed of the audit process".

The note was described by the Fianna Fáil leader today as containing information that was "wrong, inaccurate and false".  

Read the briefing note for Minister Harris

The minister was given the details of the case and informed that a patient (Vicky Phelan) was taking a case against the Health Service Executive and the US laboratory that carried out cervical screening tests.

He was told that the case followed a 2011 screening test that was falsely reported as negative.

Minister Harris was informed that the National Screening Service and the Head of the National Cancer Control Programme had advised the department in writing that they did not consider this to be a "patient safety issue", but rather a reflection of the known limitations of the current screening test.

Those limitations were explained to the minister, who was told that the test produces a "not insignificant" number of false negative results.

The National Screening Service assured the Department of Heath that no quality issues had arisen in relation the US laboratory that performed the 2011 test.

The minister was also told that in 2015 a decision was taken by the HSE to provide information on the outcomes of clinical cancer audits to treating clinicians for onward communication to patients as appropriate.

The memo stated that the outcome of all current, and historical clinical cancer audits, were subsequently communicated to treating clinicians in 2016, including in this case.

It also informs the minister that more recently "women are informed of this audit process and they have the option to request information on the outcomes of these reviews, which are sent to the treating doctor for discussion with the patient".

Read more:

Taoiseach moves to reassure women over CervicalCheck
'No question' of CervicalCheck withholding diagnoses
What is the CervicalCheck controversy about?

17 women affected by CervicalCheck controversy have died
Misdiagnosed cancer patient critical of minister