Smear test results waiting time down to 7 weeks

 Smear test results waiting time down to 7 weeks

CervicalCheck is beginning to function as normal, with waiting times for smear results largely down to seven weeks from a record high of 33 weeks, when the smear test backlog hit 80,000.

The HSE confirmed that the figure for outstanding tests, as of August 27, was 26,000 — just over the 23,000 smear test samples in progress at any one time, when the CervicalCheck system is deemed to be “working in equilibrium”.

Patient advocate Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene died in July 2017 following two incorrect CervicalCheck test results in 2010 and 2013, said: “The last 16 months have been a constant battle, so it’s good to see that we are getting somewhere.”

While the offer of free out-of-cycle smears from Health Minister Simon Harris at the height of the CervicalCheck controversy has been blamed for the backlog, Mr Teap said the offer had encouraged women who had never gone for smears to do so, which had proved fortunate for some.

“One of these women who contacted me had picked up something and she underwent a minor procedure and she’s fine, so we have good stories emerging,” he said.Mr Teap said.

Mr Teap, who was named Cork Person of the Month for September, said the award was “bittersweet”.

“It’s bitter in the sense of the tragedy behind it, but sweet in the sense of an award for standing up for Irene, for our family, and for the other women affected by this,” he said.

Mr Teap’s name will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a gala awards ceremony next January.

In terms of improved turnaround times for smear test results, the HSE said “96% of screening test were resulted in seven weeks”, although the remainder, in some cases, were taking longer.

”While the figures have declined in recent months, as we make progress in processing outstanding tests, the HSE is acutely aware of the impact of these waiting times on women,” said the HSE.

We are doing our utmost to reduce these waiting times further and return result processing times of our cervical screening programme to equilibrium.

Under normal circumstances, women taking part in the national cervical cancer screening programme could expect results in four to six weeks.

Almost 350,000 screening tests were carried out during last year, 100,000 more than in normal circumstances.

More on this topic

Emma Mhic Mhathúna to be remembered one year on from her passingEmma Mhic Mhathúna to be remembered one year on from her passing

Waiting times for smear test results reduced to six weeksWaiting times for smear test results reduced to six weeks

Stephen Teap believes CervicalCheck recommendations will be implemented - eventuallyStephen Teap believes CervicalCheck recommendations will be implemented - eventually

Women to receive results of reviewed smears next weekWomen to receive results of reviewed smears next week


More in this Section

Celebrating Wicklow GAA champions injured in horror fallCelebrating Wicklow GAA champions injured in horror fall

Don't tell rural Ireland how to live, Healy-Rae tells GreensDon't tell rural Ireland how to live, Healy-Rae tells Greens

The lotto results are in...The lotto results are in...

Micheál Martin: Election set for 2020, unless Taoiseach tries to 'pull a stroke'Micheál Martin: Election set for 2020, unless Taoiseach tries to 'pull a stroke'


Lifestyle

Halloween has really upped the ante in recent years here, hasn’t it?We have moved on considerably since the days of a bin liner fashioned with holes for arms and necks

Sandhoppers for breakfast? It’s just not cricketCrickets for lunch anyone? Time - is running out - to get over our western food prejudices

Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?, asks Richard CollinsDid ear and chest infections wipe out our neanderthal ancestors?

Corkbeg Island near the mouth of Cork Harbour is today an industrial location with Ireland’s only oil refinery whose silver cylinders dominate the low-lying island like giant mugs, writes Dan McCarthy. Islands of Ireland: 'Tanks' for the memories Corkbeg

More From The Irish Examiner