HSE contacts over 6,000 women about repeat cervical smear tests

By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

The HSE has begun contacting up to 6,000 women, by phone and letter, about having a repeat cervical smear test because of delays in processing their original samples.

One of the laboratories contracted by the HSE under the CervicalCheck programme developed an issue with its HPV screening.

The laboratory told CervicalCheck late last November that tests were returning invalid results because of the time taken to process them.

It was a separate issue to the backlog in smear tests, caused by an increase in women undergoing cervical smear tests last year.

A spokesperson for the HSE said the health authority expected to make a statement updating the public on progress made to date early this week.

Meanwhile, almost three-quarters of the woman affected by the CervicalCheck controversy are now cancer free.

Data compiled by the HSE shows that 165 of the 221 women diagnosed at stage two or earlier, now have no evidence of the active disease.

However 21 of the 221 women have died, 14 are still undergoing treatment and some are very ill.

The figures also show a small number of women did not actually have cervical cancer at all.

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