The new head of the Health Service Executive has said he is "deeply frustrated and annoyed" about the latest CervicalCheck controversy.

Paul Reid expressed his frustration over an IT issue which led to 856 women not being informed of their cervical smear test results and he apologised to the women affected.

"I would like to hugely and sincerely apologise on behalf of the HSE to the women involved, in terms of the delay", he said.

The affected tests relate to HPV retests, and test results for 52 of the 856 women showed up as positive for HPV.

CervicalCheck records show that 26 of these women have been referred for further investigation.

However, efforts are still being made to contact GPs for the remaining 26.

Today, the HSE boss said that "good progress" is being made in contacting their GPs.

Mr Reid said he hopes to have full information back tomorrow about whether or not the remaining 26 women have been informed of their test results.

Mr Reid said that while the women affected were in a "low risk category", the delay in informing them of their results still caused concern.

He said he was very frustrated at the way it happened.


CervicalCheck IT glitch: Who is responsible?


Mr Reid last week commissioned what the HSE called a "rapid review" into the circumstances of this problem, which is being chaired by Professor Brian MacCraith.

Today, Mr Reid said that Prof MacCraith will deal with the women involved and patient representatives, and will do a "deep dive to understand what should have happened at what point along this situation that shouldn't have happened".

Also speaking on the issue today, Minister for Health Simon Harris reiterated the statement of the Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE, Dr Colm Henry, that this is a "low-risk situation from a clinical point of view".

He said that "is not in any way to take away from the absolute frustration and annoyance that women should feel in relation to how this situation arose".

However, Mr Harris said it is important people know this issue relates to a HPV test and a "low risk category of people".