Cervical cancer steering committee to meet after screening controversy

Cervical cancer steering committee to meet after screening controversy
File photo

The cervical cancer steering committee will meet later this morning, after a week of controversy which has dogged the national screening programme.

Patient representatives will get an opportunity to question health officials over why 800 women experienced delays in getting their HPV virus test results.

This latest CervicalCheck problem arose exactly one week ago, when it emerged around 800 women who underwent screening were not issued with their results due to a so-called IT issue with the Quest lab in the U.S.

That figure has now been revised upwards to 856 women.

  • 52 women had a changed result after their re-test, and tested positive for the HPV virus
  • 26 of those have been referred on for colposcopies

The HSE says the clinical risk to their health is low and is trying to contact the GPs of the other 26 women.

This morning the cervical cancer steering committee will meet.

It's made up of health officials, senior civil servants and patient advocates Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh, the founders of a support group for women affected by Cervical Check issues.

Questions around whether all 52 women have been notified of their results, if they've all been referred for appropriate follow-up, whether the other 800 women affected have been told, why it took the HSE so long to tell the Department of Health, and how can public confidence be restored in CervicalCheck will dominate.

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